REVIEW: Dick Whittington panto

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Berwick is very lucky to have been able to enjoy professional pantomime productions for the last five years.

For many youngsters it is their first taste of live theatre and, once again, Bespoke Theatre delivered a show that will remain long in the memory for all.

There was plenty of comedy slapstick for the younger ones and the cleverly written script from Morgan Brind ensured there were lots of laughs for mums, dads and grandparents too.

On opening night, John, an electrician from Spittal, had a night he will never forget as the object of the Dame’s affections!

The only disappointment was that The Maltings auditorium was little more than half full. Hopefully numbers will pick up now that the school holidays are underway. If not, perhaps a look at the ticket prices is needed.

Those who decided not to bother missed a real treat.

The show tells the tale of young Dick Whittington who moves to the bright lights of Berwick-upon-Thames to find his fortune. But the streets aren’t paved with gold and below them is an evil rat army plotting destruction.

Despite hilarious levels of incompetence, Dick (Luke Foster), would-be girlfriend Alice Fitzwarren (Beth Lockhart) and Idle Jack (Joseph Taylor) somehow manage to ward off the threat and ensure there is a happy ending for all.

Along the way the audience is treated to a series of rousing song and dance routines, many with roles for local youngsters as rats and villagers.

The cast features some familiar faces, most notably the excellent Dan Smith who delivered some of the best lines as Dame Sarah the Cook and maintained his penchant for the most extravagant costumes imaginable.

Many will also recognise Berwick’s own Ross Graham who more than held his own as Alderman Fitzwarren and the Sultan of Neu la Selle.

Not-so-recognisable is local girl Georgina Faed, a member of the junior chorus, who plays Tommy the Cat to purr-fection.

Latecomer Martin Lomas fitted seamlessly into the role of the villainous King Rat following the withdrawal of Matt Lynch due to a broken leg just days before rehearsals began.

Dick Whittington runs at The Maltings, Berwick, until December 30. Tickets available from the box office on 01289 330999.