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Review: Dick Whittington, Terrington St Clement Community Fund

Give me a home grown village panto every time for enthusiasm and silliness.

Professional shows have the glitz and star names but you can't beat watching the locals taking time out from the day jobs and singing, dancing and acting their socks off.

This is what makes Terrington St Clement's pantos so special and they nailed it again this year with Dick Whittington. It had all of the traditional panto ingredients – a handsome hero, beautiful heroine, wicked villain, a dame, 'in' jokes, audience participation, lots of laughter and a happy ending. And when everyone in the cast is struggling to keep a straight face you know it is going to be a fun show.

There was a cast of 24 including a number of newcomers, and not a single weak link.

Everyone was on form. There is nothing like a dame when Mark Wilson is wearing the dress – comical as ever as Sarah the Cook. Jason Carnell was a dastardly King Rat, Harley Stone was confident and convincing in her first title role and Ella Payne (Idel Jack), Gemma Norman (Alice Fitzwarren) and Helen Payne (King Juan) all on top form.

Those with non-speaking parts really played to the audience. The sinister rats hit new levels of peskiness and Tommy the cat (Amelia List) was just purrfect.

The odd forgotten line or cue (after all, it was the first night) made it even funnier. If you don't know what to say next best admit it and get even more laughs.

The performance was fast and furious from the start and the sweet shop scene was hilarious. The plot lost a little pace early in act two but picked up again and everyone went home smiling and ready for Christmas.

Well done Terrington Community Fund. You did us proud - oh yes you did. And to those who missed it – boo!

Judy Bates

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