This week Harry Hampshire popped in to Theatre Royal Winchester for a special day out to see their traditional family pantomime, Dick Whittington.
It tells the story of a man who seeks his fame and fortune in a London ravaged by the sinister King Rat and his rabble of Revolting Rodents – and features a number of familiar faces from Theatre Royal Winchester pantos past – Ed Thorpe as this year’s lead, Dick Whittington; Julian Eardley as Panto Dame Dolly Dumpling; and Kristopher Milnes who plays the baddie once more, this time as King Rat.
Harry stopped for a moment in the theatre’s new Cafe Bar, where he met their manager, Justin, and sat down for a cup of tea and a browse of the panto programme, which contains biographies of the fabulously talented cast and crew, and fun kids’ activities.
Before the show Harry got to hang out for photos with Dick Whittington (Ed), Dame Dolly Dumpling (Julian), King Rat (Kristopher), The Cat (Jessie Angell – who celebrates her Panto debut), Alice Fitzwarren (Joanna Brown), Fairy Bow Bells (Libby Gore) and Alderman (Jon Bonner, who also plays Captain and Sultan, and does an unmissable turn on the trumpet!).
He said he enjoyed the show, describing it as funny and containing lots of opportunities to boo and hiss at King Rat; shout ‘ratty’ warnings to the cast; and join in with original, catchy songs – and said, after the show, sometimes the characters come out in to the Cafe Bar to say hello, and for photos.
It’s a show not to be missed – by the same creative team behind last year’s Beauty and the Beast – writer, lyricist and director James Barry, and composer and musical supervisor Simon Slater – who were nominated in the Musical Achievement category at the Great British Pantomime Awards!