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Dick Whittington

Date

19th December 2017

Society

Oddity Theatre

Venue

Athenaeum Centre

Type of Production

Pantomime

Director

Luke Willmore

Musical Director

Luke Willmore

Choreographer

Hannah Long

Report

Author: Delia Lee

It has been a long time since I have seen a Pantomime and this is also the first time I have seen an Oddity Theatre production and I have to say it was fabulous!

We were treated to various backdrops throughout the show and each one was beautifully painted in lovely vibrant colours.  I note from the programme that these were all painted by the cast and crew which make them even more impressive.  The detail in the opening scene was remarkable, with the Shard, London Eye and Big Ben all included in the distant view of London. 

The show got off to a cracking start and never let up in pace, with the dialogue and jokes coming thick and fast.  Luke Willmore, as Director, Producer, Musical Director, Band Orchestrator and Keyboard 1 player is obviously very accomplished at putting on a Pantomime.  It had all the right ingredients for a highly entertaining show to be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.  The band produced a wonderful sound, which was well balanced with the cast and never overpowered them. The Principals were all excellent, but special mention must go to the very charismatic Dame Dolly Dumpling and evil Queen Rat, who both gave excellent performances.

As a dancer myself, it is one thing I always notice in any production.  The dancers in this show had obviously worked very hard to make sure they had beautiful straight lines and to match all of their movements perfectly. Their hard work had certainly paid off and they should feel very proud of themselves. The choreography provided a lovely mix of styles, so that every number was interesting to watch and with a good energy.

The younger children, of course, were divine!  They were also well rehearsed and integrated well into the various chorus numbers, with moves that were both achievable and fun.  Their scene with Queen Rat in the sewers was particularly good and greatly enhanced by the excellent special effects.  The smoke and lasers provided the perfect atmosphere and every puff of smoke for Queen Rat’s entrances were timed to perfection.

I certainly couldn’t do a report without mentioning the outstanding costumes.  The programme lists three people as being responsible for these, but I find it hard to believe that they could have produced the number and quality of outfits that they did.  Perhaps they started last Christmas! 

This really was a very accomplished Pantomime.  The welcome message in the programme mentions that this production is a true community project and that really came through.  Every element worked together to produce a really excellent production.