Back in October I attended the Dick Whittington Panto Launch and ever since I have been so excited for the 25th November to come by so that I could sit and immerse myself within pantoland once again. This pantomime was without a doubt one an unforgettable performance for so many different reasons and it truly represented pantomime, in the way I have loved it for all these years!

The Belgrade Theatre's pantomime is not the kind of pantomimes you hear more and more about these days, in terms of having 'big' names within their cast, but what they do do is provide a traditional show that is performed by professionals that have the necessary skills required of a panto. There was a level of professionalism which blew out those pantomimes and very much kept to it's traditional roots.

The level of professionalism/quality was visible in an instant with their set design. It was full of the sparkle and fun that panto is, with an interactive set that is of high quality. In an association with Imagine Theatre, who have provided high quality pantomime and children's theatre have been offering spectacular entertainment for the whole family across the UK since 1994 (back then it was called Tell-Tale). There's probably a pantomime near you that has been produced by Imagine Theatre, because they are everywhere!

There is many a tradition integrated in the pantomime, for everyone in the family to enjoy. One man was brought onto the stage at least several times for a bit of humiliation, whilst the rest of the audience sat back and belly laughed at the relief that it wasn't us. It was all done in nothing but fun, and the kids seemed to really enjoy it. First timer principal boy, Tricia Adele-Turner was clearly comfortable within her role as Dick, being as good-natured and honest as Dick's character should be. You couldn't keep your eyes off Becky Stone whose acrobatic presence as Tommy The Cat wowed the younger audience and managed to bring her character to life through a wide range of expression.

My favourite was without a doubt the duo that is Ian Lauchlan (Dame Sarah The Cook) and Craig Hollingsworth (Idle Jack). They are a team of whom show their experience and long time commitment to panto! You are in safe hands with this pair who show that they have a clear understanding of their audience and how to handle a couple of slip ups! (I blame the energy and excitement of the performance to be honest). Ian Lauchlan is an absolute genius with this production and as Writer and Director has definitely cemented those traditional elements you expect to see of a panto but with the ability to make them exciting, fresh and new too.



Melone M'Kenzy's performance as the imposing and the 'bad guy' of the panto, Queen Rat gave a strong performance. You couldn't doubt her sass and flare, especially as she delivered her lines through waves of boos, as you'd expect from a pantomime audience. She also had great vocals to go beside her role too and was clearly within her element in this cast.

The costumes throughout the pantomime, designed by Mark Walters are stunning and naturally the Dame's costumes are the ones that stand out. There was a really great thinking and creative process from the design front and clearly visually represented the pantomime at it's best.

You can't forget the young chorus cast who were professional, slick and full of energy from beginning to end. They were ever the professional and clearly committed to their involvement within the cast and that of course should be appalled in itself.

Dick Whittington is a pantomime that you do not want to miss this Christmas. Packed with high quality production values, Coventry is in safe hands this season and you should definitely take your whole family, including Grandparents off to this production!

Dick Whittington is at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry until January 07 January 2017 with Adult ticket prices ranging from £15-£23.75, Kids from £10 (18 and under are £5 off!).

thanks for reading,
*I was gifted this ticket in exchange for a review, but all words and opinions are my own.