This year's panto at the Bristol Hippodrome is the London Palladium production of Dick Whittington. Pantos at the Hippodrome are always spectacular but this one really has the edge with amazing set, costumes, lighting and music - really sumptuous!
Shane Richie really is a Dick, and I mean that in the best possible way! His command of the stage and the audience is inspiring and he keeps the whole show moving at one hell of a pace. Shane's ability to deal with the kids in the obligatory front-of-tabs piece is matched only by his ability to deliver not too well hidden innuendo and keep us, and the cast, laughing and happy throughout.
Alice Fitzwarren (Christine Tucker) has a lovely voice and plays her part well. The female lead is often a bit of a wet role but here she gets to spoiler alert defeat queen rat herself. Captain Cockles (Peter Piper) is a delight, handling the part (and Shane) with confidence and humour - he really does a fabulous job. I would have liked to see Kitty (Blair Cameron) get a bit more exposure and Sarah the Cook (David O'Reilly) be a bit more over the top but all in all this is a cast that gives a great overall show.
The comedy interlude is provided by the Acromaniacs, a great choice and just the right length; the kids behind me squealed with delight, what more can you ask for! The Spirit of Bow Bells (Shona White) is suitably bright as the good fairy and Jennie Dale gives us an evil Queen Rat - shame that her boss rat doesn't appear more than once but none the less impressive. talking of impressive, that flying bus, brilliant!
The ensemble dane their socks off and the kids of the Bristol School of Dancing are quite amazing, how do such little ones learn their steps so well!
Full of fun, this is a fabulous family panto not to be missed ...