Stourbridge Pantomime Company 

We were kindly invited along to watch this year’s production of Dick Whittington and His Cat by Stourbridge Pantomime Company. Out of our duo, MT is the pantomime queen as she always fits a pantomime into her schedule. This was my first pantomime of 2019 and my first pantomime in a decade, so I was interested to see what this company had to offer and what I had been missing out on.

Stourbridge Pantomime Company are a company dedicated to putting on the best pantomime each year. Established in 1969, the award winning company have been performing at Stourbridge Town Hall each year with an exciting pantomime to entertain and dazzle audiences.

Dick Whittington and his Cat written by Peter Denyer, tells the story of Dick and his trusty Cat, Tommy as they head to London Town to seek fame and fortune. Along the way he meets larger than life characters, Sarah the Cook, Idle Jack, Captain Cuttle and the love of his life, Alice. It’s not all plain sailing though, as Dick has to watch out for the evil King Rat and his mischievous ratlings as they are determined to cause trouble for Dick, his friends and London Town.

Director Steve Humpherson, Choreographer Amy Williams and Musical Directors Adam Joy and Richard Skilbeck have created a spectacular faultless production. This pantomime felt fresh and innovative, with creative staging, lighting design, dazzling costumes, a great song selection and a charming talented cast and chorus.

There were strong performances from all of the main cast, with Adam Chester as Alderman Fitzwarren the father struggling to make ends meet. Our title role of Dick Whittington was played by Jonathan Hunt who has an excellent stage presence and voice. Hunt had the audience on his side throughout as we all rooted for the hero of the story. There was also a wonderful chemistry between Hunt and Hattie Rudge as Alice Fitzwarren. Rudge has a beautiful voice which was demonstrated in her solo performances and her duets with Dick from the popular soundtrack, The Greatest Showman. Alongside Dick was his trusty Cat Tommy, Sophie Ruddick, who was majestic as the feline companion.

Our narrator Fairy Bow Bells, Sarah Coussens, commanded the audience as she delivered a bright, warm and humorous performance.

Steve Coussens gave a fantastic performance as the villainous evil King Rat, delivering a character that the audience could easily love to hate.

Two larger than life characters in this show were Idle Jack, Ricky Hammond, and Sarah the Cook, David Shaw. I loved this dynamic duo who had me laughing throughout with their charismatic performances. I have to mention Sarah the Cook’s Celine Dion “Titanic moment” where Shaw made the audience explode with laughter as he recreated the iconic My Heart Will Go On. Another character that had me smiling was the barmy Captain Cuttle, Julia Tromans, who delivered a memorable performance.

This company has a wealth of talent demonstrated with not only the intermediate dancers, adult chorus and children’s chorus but also with the supporting roles. India Lakhan gave a confident, sassy performance as The Sultana of Morocco and our two evil ratlings, Hatty Humpherson and Neive Marrison, gave great comedic performances.

The most enjoyable part of watching the inventive choreography in this production was how each member performed the routines with passion, skill and precision.

The audience were engaged throughout the production from rapturous laughter to deafening boos and the energy in the auditorium was vibrant. This was a much loved pantomime by a much loved company. For someone who is not particularly a huge fan of pantomime, this production opened my eyes and showed me what a creative company can do.  I am definately a fan of Stourbridge Pantomime Company pantomimes and I for one, will not miss out next year.

Don’t miss out on more information on Stourbridge Pantomime Company’s future productions by visiting their website.

DT

Theatretastic rating 5/5:

We say: “A spectacular, faultless, utterly charming pantomime! “