Sheringham Little Theatre
Going to a pantomime as an adult is like revisiting your childhood; it evokes memories of fear and wonder, laughter and surprise, and a sense of occasion.
So when Fairy Bowbells joins her adversary King Rat for the prologue, announcing “This is Pantoland”, we are at once transported to that magical place, where goodness battles against evil, to emerge triumphant and leave the feeling that all is right with the world.
The Little Theatre's glittering production of Dick Whittington, written and directed by Desmond Barrit, is a straight-down-the-line traditional pantomime: it tells a simple story well, in bold visual style. It has romance, humour, slapstick, singing and dancing, comic tricks and a spectacular finale.
Ian Westbrook's brightly coloured sets and a dazzling array of costumes bring London's streets, a shipwreck on stormy seas and a Moroccan palace right into the heart of this small auditorium and the central dream sequence is quite breathtaking.
The music hall vogue for a female Principal Boy is followed here, the role of Dick being played with high-octane verve by Samantha George.
Local celebrities Paul Barnes and Helen McDermott are superb as the good fairy and arch villain, coaxing and goading the audience to get involved.
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There are fine individual performances from the entire cast of actors and dancers, with good support from the local “Panto Babes” and high school students.
But the star of the show has to be Tony Walton as Sarah the cook, a fabulously over-the-top Panto Dame. With the captain as his sidekick, he exudes infectious delight.
And the verdict of my two teenage companions, Katie and Rosa: “Apart from the love scene being a bit cheesy, it was brilliant.”
t Dick Whittington runs until January 3. Box office: 01263 822347.