Dick Whittington and his Cat

Date 18th January 2014
Society The DODS
Venue Lister Hall, Dursley
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Craig Hewlett Director and Author
Musical Director Rob Andrew
Choreographer Becky Harper


Author: Malcolm White

At this time of year you cannot move for the abundance of pantomimes being performed in every area, both professional and amateur. Therefore, in order to keep your audiences attending yours, you must come up with the goods and keep it fresh. D.O.D.S. always meet the challenge and this year was no exception. Written and directed by CRAIG HEWLETT, this years offering had pace, enthusiasm, colour and energy. The principals were supported by a very confident chorus, who worked hard and interacted well with the action. We were treated to a good, strong opening which set the standard for the rest of the performance. The sets were simple and effective. They were well dressed with tiny detail attended to, making all the difference. The lighting plot was well designed and complimented the set beautifully. The changes were also smoothly executed. The 5-piece band, under the direction of Rob Andrews, blended well and was sympathetic to the performers in volume. Choreographer, Becky Harper, can be extremely pleased with her first solo production. Her choreography was fresh, imaginative and lively. She created some lovely finishing pictures and her dances were designed for the ability of the dancers.  There were some nice, sharp lines and well rehearsed routines. The costumes were colourful and fitted well, which completed the whole visual effect.  Well-done ladies. Shannon Millichap was perfectly cast in the title role. She had a commanding presence on stage and a wonderful 'Principal Boy' stance.  Her strong vocals were well balanced by her gentle Principal Girl, Charlotte Howgego, who gave a confident performance. Peter Nolan as the villain of the piece, King Bubonic the Third, created a superb character and worked well with Darren Kitchin and Zachary Stephens as his side kicks Drat and Brat respectively. The Dame, Maisie Luvaduck, was beautifully underplayed by Chad Staddon, with good comic timing. The choice of music was well planned, and Craig Hewlett's change of lyrics localised the songs and made them more fitting to the tale. However, if you are going to have your own lyrics, then diction is paramount to fully appreciate them and this was lacking in some of the company numbers. Everyone in this company pulled together to produce the magical nonsense that is panto, and all I can say is ' job done!’  The audience were sent home with a smile on their faces and the children went to bed dreaming of happy ever afters. Well done all.