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and his Cat reviewed by Harriet Rowland in The
Isle of Wight County Press 20/12/02
(reproduced by kind permission of the Isle of Wight County Press)
RATS, cats, a profusion of amply built Eastern dancers and the wild
shores of Morocco were just some of the magical ingredients that
contributed to a rip-roaring Dick Whittington from the Cowes Amateur
Operatic and Dramatic Society.
The tale of young Dick's quest for love and a rat-free London
of yore had a respectable first night audience of all ages laughing
like the city's rat-infested drains from the start.
There were plenty of hearty boos and hisses too for a revoltingly
effulgent King Rat, played to great effect by John Plumbly and
only kept in check by the dainty Fairy Silver Chime, who popped
up in all the prescribed places. The chosen songs for this show
created one of the highlights of the evening, with cast renditions
of hits from bands Slade and Village People and hit show Oliver!
delivered with gusto.
Duets from Emj\y Paterson as Dick Whittington, who was struggling
with a cold, and Nicky Stanley as Alice Fitzwarren, did not work
quite as well and sometimes the children in the show did not seem
quite to know what they were meant to be doing.
And presenting the fairies with arms crossed in front of their
chests had the unfortunate effect of making them look vulnerable
rather than magical.
But these small failings were more than made up for by sterling
performances from the likes of panto favourite Lionel Osman as
Alderman Fitzwarren and the indomitable Geoff Day as ldle Jack,
not to forget Phil Burland, whose strong voice made for a believable
Sultan of Moroccoal and boosted the musical interludes to great
John Sole as captain of the Golden Venture with camp sidekick
Stuart Pointing as the mate made a good duo, providing plenty
of jokes between main scenes. Of course, no pantomime is complete
without its dame and Bob French as Sarah pulled it off to great
effect; with the gags running freely throughout along with the
requisite multiple changes of wig and dress - great fun. A word
too for Ken Hughes's set design and John Wood's painting, which
betrayed a wonderful talent for creating the traditional panto
Dick Whittington scored well on the 2002 Panto Geiger Counter
and any show that involves free sweeties has to go down as a must
for families in search of seasonal entertainment and hungry CP