Theatre Royal Stratford’s Dick Whittington: A real crowd-pleaser

16 Dec


Theatre review: Theatre Royal Stratford’s Dick Whittington

The Theatre Royal Stratford East styles itself ‘a people’s theatre’, which makes it a natural home for pantomime, surely the ultimate in ‘people’s drama’.

Unsurprisingly, Olivier-nominated duo Trish Cooke and Robert Hyman’s Dick Whittington proves a real crowd-pleaser.

There’s dynamic interaction between stage and spectators from the off in Kerry Michael’s terrific production, with Caroline Parker’s Fairy Bow Bell busying herself warming up the audience while people are still filing in.

Kinetic energy and a heart-warming sense of community are key ingredients.

The seductive visual menace of Gotham City haunts the atmospheric stage design; until the interval, at any rate, when the protagonists suddenly board an extremely fine-looking rocket and blast off to the Moon.

In a splendidly surreal twist, the second half unfurls on Earth’s cheesy satellite, where Miranda Menzies’s Alien Queen joins the fun and Michael Bertenshaw’s eminently booable King Rat…

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