Dick Whittington and the Return of the Rat

Date 21st November 2013
Society Aldridge Musical Comedy Society
Venue Coppice Performing Arts School
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Mark Nicholls
Musical Director Ben Batt
Choreographer Sarah Hemming


Author: Brian Hirst

What this company produced under the circumstances was quite remarkable. They had to move to a new venue about 24 hours before curtain up on opening night with no scenery due to unforeseen circumstances. It was also compounded by the fact they moved from a conventional stage to performing on the ‘flat’.

This was the final part of the trilogy about the adventures of Dick Whittington written by Mark Nicholls. All the usual characters were there and most of them played by the same cast members as in parts one and two.

It is impossible to mention all performers individually except to say that they all made an important contribution to the success of the evening. Charlotte Harrison (Fairy Bow Bells) got the show off to a good start with her very clear diction and bubbly personality and Luke Groves (King Rat) was an equally evil opponent. The change in venue affected the size of the audience but Sarah Hinkley (Bonnie Brown) and Neil Morris (Sally Sugar) worked hard to encourage them to participate. These two were also responsible in conjunction with Emma Nicholls (Manuel) for much of the knockabout humour. Clare Oatley (Voodoo Lady) was suitably ‘batty’. Chris Parry (Pirate King) and Hattie Sketchley-Bates demonstrated what fine singing voices they possess. Mark Nicholls effectively ‘blustered’ his way through as Captain Jack Starling solving nothing on the way. Once again Adam Foxall (Dick Whittington) saved the day.  Their main opponent was well played by Rachel Carruthers (Callista).

There were good individual solos and harmony singing from the chorus backed up by a sympathetic band. Sarah Hemming's choreography was slick and there was some effective lighting. This was a tremendous team effort. Well done to all involved!