Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Dick Whittington

Torch Theatre Company , Torch Theatre , December-03-12
Dick Whittington by Torch Theatre Company

I always enjoy the anticipation of a Torch Theatre Pantomime, and Peter Doran and his talented team and players never disappoint me. Dick Whittington is a show filled with novelty and lots of fine original music and song – enough to showcase each of the talented cast. Oraine Johnson’s Tommy the Cat is the perfect warm up character. Cool and with it, he identifies immediately with the young audience and his dancing talent and personality are so apparent throughout the performance – particularly when he turns up as the Sultan of Morocco.

A giant split-personality bell guides us through each of Sean Crowley’s deceptively simple sets, and the story of how innocent Dick Whittington journeyed to London to become three times Lord Mayor is carried along at a good pace with a rousing ‘Turn again Whittington’ at the interval.The performances of Sion Ifan as Dick Whittington and Gwawr Loader as Alice are excellent and their solos and duet were just right to demonstrate their singing talent. The return of Cardiff’s popular actor Dion Davies guarantees a classy Dame. He takes the part of Dick’s mother Sarah who always appears to have rehearsed her lines with the young audience - and always with a cheeky quip tucked up her skirt for the evening audience.

The music ranges from ballads, rock-n-roll, reggae and the rap performance of ‘That’s what they say in London’ gets a great response from the youngsters. I particularly enjoyed the menace of Jordan Bernarde’s King Rat and was soon booing along with the children. He can rock-n-roll and has two good solo spots and is great when accompanied by his rat’s chorus. Oliver Wood as Alderman Fitzwarren blossoms as the show goes on and demonstrates he can match everyone with his dancing skills. This is great family entertainment and the final number is certainly worthy of a download for the Christmas charts. Matinee performances for schools and community groups are already underway and the public performances of Dick Whittington will begin on from Friday 21st to Saturday 29th December.


Directed by Peter Doran
Designed by: Sean Crowley
Music and Lyrics by: James Williams
Produced by the Torch Theatre Company


Cast:
Sion Ifan Dick Whittington
Dion Davies The Dame
Oliver Wood Alderman Fitzwarren
Gwawr Loader Alice
Jordan Bernade King Rat
Oraine Johnson Tommy the Cat


photo: Craig Sugden

Reviewed by: Ron Waters

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