Rock 'n' roll panto that is simply purr-fect

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DICK Whittington -The Rock ‘N’ Roll Panto is possibly the best panto I’ve ever seen. Oh yes it is!

With slaptstick, double-entendres, toe-tapping beats and spine-tingling singing voices, it had the audience laughing heartily and clapping along.

The successful team of writer and director Peter Rowe and designer Judith Croft, who have created the recent hit pantos Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin, have returned to Clwyd Theatr Cymru for their seasonal show.

The tradional tale unfolds in London town on Lord Mayor's Day when the party is in full swing. Saucy Sarah the Cook is icing her buns, Alderman Fitzwarren is counting his pennies and bungling Billy Bungalow is busy bashing rats. Then up pops the slimy King Rat to ruin the celebrations and drag young Alice Fitzwarren into his lair.

Dick Whittington, with his friend Taffy the Cat, and supernatural help from Fairy Bow Bells, sets off in hot pursuit.

A cast of 10 multi talented actor musicians spice up the traditional panto magic with a string of over twenty hit songs including Walking on Sunshine, Band of Gold, Uptown Girl, Tiger Feet and many more.

The ravenous rodent is superbly played by panto regular Alex Parry, who offers smooth one-liners and is a real dead ringer for Meat Loaf when performing the rock star’s songs.

The flamboyant Phylip Harries took centre stage as Sarah the Cook in his eighth appearance at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. He had the audience in fits of laughter with his cheeky wit and teasing audience participation.

Francesca Gosling is purr-fect as Taffy and panto favourite James Haggie plays the softly spoken Billy Bungalow - with a surprisingly commanding voice when the role requires it. Perhaps he would have stolen the show in any other production, but in a panto of such calibre and with so many larger-than-life characters, it’s difficult to choose a favourite.

In the end, the audience were on their feet and dancing in the aisles. Dick Whittington - The Rock 'n' Roll Panto is real feel-good festive entertainment, which will leaving you calling for more.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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