The reason I love Panto season so much is because it officially marks the start of Christmas and this year’s pantomime certainly has the X-factor as it takes us on the magical rags to riches tale of Dick Whittington.
It kicks off with a great start with the X-Factor winner Sam Bailey singing Don’t Stop Me Now. The all-star cast with Sam Bailey as Fairy Bowbells, Aylesbury’s very own Andy Collins as Idle Jack, and X Factor finalist Melanie Masson as boo-able baddie Queen Rat, clearly threw all their festive spirit into this enthralling show.
I don’t want to compare Dick Whittington to Cinderella that we were spoilt with last year. It’s always good to have something fresh and different, and in my opinion Dick Whittington is a much more traditional pantomime.
Andy Collins told us that from being given a script they had only 2 weeks to put the show together. So in spite of only two week’s work, the cast, crew and director Chris Nelson, absolutely nailed it!
We were entertained from beginning to end with sensational songs, dazzling dance routines, slapstick comedy, a live band and of course plenty of audience participation as we followed Dick, purr-fectly played by Kristopher Milnes and his cat Tommy on his quest for fame and fortune, and finding love with Alice played by Rachael Louise Miller on his way.
Let’s not forget, no pantomime is complete without an evil villain and in this case The Rat Queen, played by Melanie Massion, is a strong character who thrives on being booed and hissed throughout; and then dazzles us with her strong vocals.
With Andy Collins on his 5th panto year, we all knew and expected with great anticipation the 12 days of Christmas routine, and of course we weren’t disappointed. He teased us throughout the show until he finally got his moment which exuded great fun and enjoyment. I’m still humming along to “…and a bra that was made for three!”. Andy, who plays Jack, continuously lights up the stage as he interacts beautifully with the audience creating a warm atmosphere with children and adults alike shouting out ‘Hello Jack’ whilst waving their jazz hands. Naturally there was plenty of opportunity to shout out ‘Oh, no you’re not!’ or ‘He’s behind you!’ in true panto style.
If you are looking for a purr-fect family outing this Christmas, then look no further – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre’s Dick Whittington is the place to be.
Dick Whittington runs until January 3at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.
Tickets are available fromwww.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.