13 December 2014 to 4 January 2015
Reviewed by Nealy Collins
Shane Ritchie stars in Dick Whittington at The Swan Theatre described as the ‘Magical Pantomime Adventure’ and I couldn’t agree more!
I took my two boys aged 5 and 4 to see the annual pantomime at The Swan in High Wycombe and wow what a night we had!
The Swan Theatre is a really lovely theatre, we received a very warm welcome from the theatre staff and there was a real sense of excitement in the foyer before the show started.
Our seats were in the middle of the circle and we had a perfect view of the stage.
Shane Ritchie is absolutely fantastic as Dick, he had me crying with laughter within minutes of the show starting and it continued this way throughout the pantomime. His performance was brilliant from start to finish, humour flowing effortlessly and he really doesn’t take himself seriously – when things went wrong he laughed and it just made the audience laugh even more.
I was apprehensive as to whether my boys would be too young to understand and enjoy the show, particularly my youngest as it was his first experience of a pantomime but they absolutely loved it and have already asked to go and see it again! They were fully engaged throughout, shouting out, cheering, clapping and singing along.
The show encompassed so much more than what I would expect from a pantomime and I was impressed with how much things have moved on from the pantomimes I went to see as a child!
There was the usual comedy and audience participation along with stunning sets, brilliant dance routines, fabulous costumes as well as amazing magic and circus acts!
The audience participation extended from the usual ‘it’s behind you’ chants to Shane dancing with an audience member, two young performers running through the crowds with water guns and Shane inviting children up onto the stage and talking to each of them individually. A member of the audience even named one of the shows characters! The fast paced variety of singing and dancing, magic tricks, comedy and various interactions with the audience meant everyone was interested throughout – we certainly were.
The sets, costume, music and lighting were fantastic, really vibrant and impressive. The music was also current including a performance of ‘Diamonds’ (Rihanna) and ‘Happy’ (Pharrell Williams) which was brilliant again for keeping the children engaged.
Phil Hitchcock played the Sultan of Morocco and he did numerous magic tricks throughout the show – including one scene where he made real life doves appear and disappear!
Dick Whittington had all the usual pantomime characters, the love pair (Dick and Alice) the bad (Queen Rat) the Dame (Mrs Fitzwarren) and the Fairy Princess (Spirit of the Bells) and I can honestly say they were all fantastic! You could really sense the chemistry between the cast and it was clear how much they were all enjoying themselves! Even the very young children and dancers stood out as brilliant little actors, it was so nice to see.
Dick Whittington completely exceeded any expectations I had of a modern day pantomime, it was fantastic all round entertainment and I will certainly be booking again for next year! I’ve been buzzing all day from what was a fabulously entertaining show and can’t recommend it enough for a great family evening out!
Tickets cost from £17 to £30.50 (plus £1.50 booking fee).
Dick Whittington is at the Swan Theatre in Wycombe until 4 January 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01494 512 000.
Wycombe Swan, St. Mary Street, High Wycombe, HP11 2XE | 01494 512 000