REVIEW: Opera House Panto Dick Whittington opens with hilarious aplomb

Dick Whittington at Buxton Opera House.
Dick Whittington at Buxton Opera House.

Oh no it isn’t! Well it’s perhaps not Shakespeare - but there’s certainly a whole heap of laughter, dastardly villains, witty double entendre, accomplished singing and some rambunctious performances to be had at this year’s panto at Buxton Opera House.

The traditional classic Dick Whittington is given some delightful oomph by this colourful cast who leapt into the first night of their run on Saturday (December 8) with faultless aplomb.

The mini theatre-goers among the audience were quickly confident enough to start joining in and were particularly verbose in their condemnation of our Rat King - the wonderfully despicable Alistair Lee.

Buxton’s favourite Dame - the hilarious James Holmes (‘Clive’ from the hit comedy series Miranda) returns as Dame Sarah the Cook and is marvelously over the top and outrageous in a real stand out performance.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle Green from CBBC’s Wolfblood joins the Opera House cast for the first time this year as Alice Fitzwarren and Matthew J Ryan is our Dick - a simple lad from Buxton determined to find his fortune in the big city.

Dick makes his way down Ye Olde M1 with nothing but a sandwich and a can-do attitude; but he’s out of luck until he meets a friendly cat with a knack for catching rats. As his cat gets to work ridding the city of its furry pests, it seems Dick’s dream will come true. Little does he know the scary King Rat - a nasty geezer with an army of rodents at his command - is getting ready to pounce.

With some cracking comic moments, this production certainly got our festive season off to a side-splitting start and even found me uncharacteristically clapping and singing along. Top marks and thoroughly recommended.

Dick Whittington runs until December 30 at Buxton Opera House. To buy tickets CLICK HERE.