Dick Whittington at the Lyric Hammersmith
Marking the tenth anniversary (drum roll please for those in the know) of Lyric Panto, Dick Whittington is a laugh-out-loud evening of entertainment written by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd. At this time of year, there is of course pantomime in abundance but this production truly does what it says on the tin, offering something for all the family and effortlessly catering to a variety of humour. The story of “out of towner” Dick who moves to London and eventually becomes Mayor is engaging enough, but when combined with the set pieces, costumes and laughter we are well and truly absorbed by the visual feast on offer.
Luke Latchman in the lead role is energetic and engaging and there is stellar support offered by Keziah Joseph as Tom Cat and Hollie Edwin as love interest Alice. The musical numbers have people clapping along and the entire house on their feet before the curtain comes down. The vocal quality of each performer is particularly notable, with Jodie Jacobs as Bow Belles commanding the stage during every song. Sarah-Louise Young utterly embraces the role of the villainous Queen Rat and laps up both the boos and the laughs. Margaret Cabourn-Smith as Mayor Pidgeon multi-rolls and again provides comedy and commentary on Brexit and life in London, which resonates with the audience. Carl Mullaney as Sarah Fitzwarren steals the show on several occasions and is the perfect player to engage with spectators during set changes. The main cast are supported by an impressive ensemble offering several contemporary dance numbers, with Baby Shark appealing to the younger members of the audience.
Jean Chan’s vibrant set is splashed with colour and the panto checklist is well and truly ticked: great music, sweets and prizes, crowd participation and sing-alongs, to name a few. Dick Whittington makes for a joyous and entertaining evening of escapism. The high energy is sustained throughout, allowing for a solid pace and no moments of flatness and, as with all good pantomime, both young and old will be entertained. You have until the beginning of January to see this before it’s behind you!
Photos: Tristram Kenton
Dick Whittington is at the Lyric Hammersmith from 17th November 2018 until 6th January 2019. Book your tickets here.