Dick Whittington - All Saints Dramatic Society

I am a huge fan of local productions and supporting local dramatic societies. Away from the glitz and glam of the West End and UK tours, you can find a wealth of talent and creativity in your local community. The All Saints Dramatic Society have been entertaining the Bournemouth community for the past 70 years. Comprised of performers from the local area, the group perform two shows and a pantomime every year alongside musical revues and community events. 

This year, their pantomime was Dick Whittington, the tale of a young man who heads to London to find his fortune. Written and directed by Phil Vivian, I headed to the Corpus Christi Parish Centre in Boscombe, Bournemouth to watch this fun and enjoyable pantomime. 

The show opens with Fairy Bow Bells (Victoria Liechti) introducing us to our principal character Dick Whittington himself (played by Renee Claude). As Dick heads to London to find his fortune with his cat Tom (Rebecca Hyde) in tow, he comes across some new friends in the form of Idle Jack (Lucy Dearlove) and his mum Sarah the Cook (Jon Cockeram). After finding work with Alderman Fitzwarren (Richard Carnell), Dick grows fond of Fitzwarrens daughter Alice (Lauren Excell) and they must work as a team to banish the city of Queen Rat (Maria Hood) and her ratlings. 

Renee Claude took to the principal role with ease and managed to whisk us away on a journey of discovery and adventure, whilst Rebecca Hyde's performance was brilliant as Tom Cat. To be able to complete nearly the entire show without talking, but with so much expression and stage presence was fantastic. We also enjoyed the hilarity of Jon Cockeram and Lucy Dearlove as Sarah and Jack. Their on-stage partnership kept the audience laughing throughout and left us in stitches with the quick, witted quips and physical theatre. 

Maria Hood blew us away with her performance as Queen Rat. The menace and energy in her performance filled the room and her team of ratlings, comprised of local youth performers, were just as ferocious as they crept around the audience and on stage. A truly brilliant team of performers that were full of talent and energy. The chorus worked tirelessly throughout as they moved from townspeople to sailors and spirits and need to be celebrated just as much as the principal cast. 

The show manages to tick every pantomime box and entertains from curtain up until the final bows. Filled with songs that both the young and old love (including Harry Styles!), you can't help but tap your feet and dance in your seat as the cast perform their hearts out on stage. We absolutely loved the audience interaction and hilarious jokes that wove throughout the show to bring smiles to everyone's faces. You could tell from the start just how much these performers loved sharing the stage together, and how much hard work they have put into creating a show that is funny, entertaining, and embodies everything that is brilliant about local theatre. If you're local, you won't regret spending an evening immersing yourself in the world of Dick Whittington. 

Dick Whittington runs across the weekend of 6-8th Jan alongside the weekend of 12-15th Jan. Situated at the Corpus Christi Parish Centre in Boscombe, Bournemouth, tickets are reasonably priced and there are family discounts available too. For more information and to purchase tickets, please click on the following link: Dick Whittington Tickets

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