OhYesItIs! a good panto!
PUBLISHED: 15:57 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:58 03 July 2010
Gorleston Pavilion's charming Edwardian auditorium is the perfect setting for this thoroughly traditional, highly enjoyable Dick Whittington.
Gorleston Pavilion's charming Edwardian auditorium is the perfect setting for this thoroughly traditional, highly enjoyable Dick Whittington. With storybook sets from Ian Westbrook, the show is bursting with energy and audience participation.
You wouldn't normally mention Gorleston in the same breath as New York and Paris, but once again Royal Shakespeare actor Desmond Barrit shows total commitment to keeping small theatres alive by writing, directing and co-producing the show this year, between international engagements with Glyndebourne Opera.
This panto is a revival of the one first seen at Gorleston six years ago, yet it comes up as fresh as a daisy, while of course retaining groan-worthy jokes which are, in some cases, as old as the theatre. And we love it all.
As always, Barrit stages the show with former Anglia TV presenter Helen McDermott. As Fairy Bow Bells she holds it together - ever the mistress of the ad lib - and in an action-packed rock and roll sequence, lively dancing too.
Booing and hissing starts within a couple of minutes of curtain-up thanks to Nick Murray Brown as King Rat, ultimately defeated by a highly acrobatic Tyler Curtis as Tommy the Cat, who certainly knows how to steal the laughs.
Brett Lee Roberts, making his panto debut, packs plenty of personality in the title role. Kelly Bibb is a highly likeable Alice, while Ken Joy is the seasoned bagpipe playing (yes, bagpipe playing) dame who constantly entertains but never dominates in this balanced cast.
Roger Lee, Mark David Nash and Richard Melchior complete the principals. The dancers and juveniles all add greatly to the overall polish of this panto, choreographed by Sharon Glennie.
With an hilarious and exhausting take on the 12 Days of Christmas and a highly original and comical ultra violet underwater sequence, Dick Whittington, which runs until January 3, provides the borough with top quality entertainment.
Would it be a shame to miss it? Oh yes it would!