Theatre Review: Dick Whittington

Shane Richie wins the crown in this glitzy cracker, packed with snappy jokes and charm. 

Taking time away from the television and taking a seat at The Theatre Royal this Christmas will lavish your senses, with an interactive and, seemingly huge, slice of quintessentially lavish seasonal panto. 

Opening with the bright, sparkly number; ‘Nothing quite like panto’, the scene is set. Then as the incredibly glossy stage setting unfolds in front of your eyes, you are drenched in two hours of sparkly, high octane, punchy Christmas indulgence. 

A hugely energised Shane Richie leads the show with masses of enthusiasm. His sharp wit taking the comedic role on effortlessly, supported by the impeccable D Ranj. A casting that shows a clear and obvious chemistry between the stars. 

Anne Smith plays a nasty, but hard to hate Rat Queen, working the audience into a frenzy of boos and hisses, while Emily Beth Harrington plays a refreshingly adept damsel-not-in distress. 

The show’s comedic sketches have the audience genuinely howling into their hot chocolates. Classic and enjoyably, the simple Christmas gaffs leave you wide open to receive the hilariously chaotic slapstick setups. Full of misdirection, you are left wondering what’s to come next. 

This year’s panto offering from the Theatre Royal is a superbly constructed serving of sparkly fun, well worth leaving the Christmas jumpers behind and dressing up for. With its hugely impressive special effects budget, you’ll wake up the following morning questioning; ‘did Shane Richie really soar overhead in a full-size London Bus?’

Review by Dan Lord

Dick Whittington is showing at Theatre Royal until 14 Jan 2024 – get your tickets here

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