ELY PANTO VERDICT: Dick Whittington is an uplifting experience for anyone of any age - indefatigable vibrancy in a magical show
PUBLISHED: 19:16 15 December 2019
Hours after an all night caper covering the general election, where better to escape the morning after feeling than row K of the Maltings, Ely, for the 11am Saturday performance of Dick Whittington.
For two hours it seemed, and felt, a world away from the hustle and bustle of fake smiles, handshakes and the glad handing paraphernalia associated with politics.
KD Theatre provided the perfect antidote and nothing fake about the reaction of six year old twins and their eight year old brother accompanying me. They laughed, giggled, shuffled, ate popcorn, roared, and, mercifully, fell asleep on the way home. Job done!
Dick Whittington is an uplifting experience for anyone though, of any age, with a small but perfectly formed cast led so uproariously (or if you prefer outrageously) by Terry Gaud as Dame Sarah Sweet Tooth. We are, with Terry, in the company of comic genius, a Ken Dodd figure of rapid fire quips, gags and energy that is simply dazzling. He provokes the audience like some comic Atlantic wave, daring you to edge forward until that moment when you're left drowning with delight as the water engulfs you.
I'd like to share with you some of the gags but the alacrity of delivery, the sheer joy of the show and the indefatigable vibrancy on offer left my notebook frozen mid air as I tried to jot them down.
The story line is immersed within a swirling cornucopia of a startlingly adept production. Gregory Hazel as Queen Rat is wondrous -a bounder of course and deserving of the requisite amount of booing he solicited. But performance wise? The cheers will have delighted him.
Lucinda Withers as the 'enchantress of the Thames' is a joy, as too Lucy Bell as Alice.
And then, of course, we come to Dick Whittington, the irascible Aaron Carter transported through joblessness, to sweet shop worker, to disgrace before the dastardly fraudster Queen Rat is exposed for framing him and he can begin the path to true love, happiness and the mayoralty of London.
Not possible, of course, without his impish, talented and dexterous cat Tommy aided and abetted by the strangely similar ship's captain and Moroccan sultan Terry Burns.
KD has nurtured, developed and delivered some magical talent to Ely for Christmas and the New Year. Long may they continue to do so.