REVIEW: Panto will have children jumping for joy

Jess Spalis as Dick Whittington, Corey Cross as Tommy the Cat and Tessa Kadler as Alice Fitzwarren. Picture: Tony Kelly.

Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, until January 14.

Once again panto time had schoolchildren jumping for joy and excitement as Dick Whittington and his faithful cat, Tommy, seek their fortune and are drafted in to rid London of a plague of rats.

Sarah Lawn as Fairy Pearl. Picture: Tony Kelly.

Chris Clarkson returned as Dame Winona Whittington, Dick’s buxom, rollicking mum who had the audience totally captivated.

All the naughty innuendos and knockabout comedy were there with excellent musical numbers and dance.

Corey Cross proved purrfect as Tommy with beautifully executed sinuous moves, while Nigel Lister doubled up as Francis and Fernando Fitzwarren – the latter a truly debonair suitor for our Dame.

Tuesday’s matinee engaged everyone with youngsters participating so energetically it made your ears ring.

Corey Cross, Jess Spalis, Chris Clarkson, Nigel Lister and Tessa Kadler. Picture: Tony Kelly.

They danced in their seats singing along to numbers they knew and there was total hysteria as sweets were thrown and water pistols sprayed.

Their unrestrained enthusiasm provide a rewarding element to the show’s magic.

Clever lighting and effects worked with a magical seabed number and a clever fight scene staged through the doorway of Francis’s bookshop.

Tribute must go to the young local talented chorus and to Karen Simpson, artistic director.

For tickets, call the box office on 01284 769505 or visit

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