Written by Kelly White and Gavin Davy
Directed by Kelly White
Dick – Rory Gordon
Alice – Becky Puddick
Daphne – Gavin Davy
Tom Cat – Sharron Burley
Idle Jack – Jason Down
King Rat – Ian Slipper
Fairy of the Bells – Lorraine Slipper
Alderman Fitzwarren – Martyn Puddick
Ronnie – Sophie Naisbitt
Reggie – Samantha Griggs
Captain – Graham Steele
Mate – Danny Chantler
Sultan Vinegar – John Harris
Mustapha Leak – Richard Gissing
Princess Tiger Lily – Maria Watson Riggs
Venus – Ferne Haxby
Orchid – Lucy Willis
Lotus – Rose Edmonds
Review by Richard Banks in the Bexley Times
Dick Whittington – The Riverside Players
Pantomime is an excellent way of introducing children to live theatre, both as performers and audience, for many people their first memory of live theatre is through pantomime.
A good, old fashioned, fun pantomime is relatively rare these days but such a delight was served up by The Riverside Players. Dick Whittington tells the tale of poor boy, who goes from rags to riches who wins the hand of the fair Alice Fitzwarren, then loses it and finally regains it when he is finally cleared of a crime he didn’t commit and everyone lives happily ever after.
Acting ability tends to be secondary to enthusiasm and a bonus in panto, but Ian Slipper as King Rat was wonderfully evil, snarling and hissing back at the audience playing his part to the full and was able to back his acting ability with a good singing voice. His stage presence enhanced the show enormously. Likewise Gavin Davy as the panto’s dame, Daphne Dumpling in a wonderful array of colourful costumes gave an equally colourful performance as an archetypal comic dame.
A special mention must go to Sharron Burley as Tom Cat, the resident ‘animal expert’, was hugely successful as the hero’s trusty companion. With little dialogue beyond ‘miaow’, effective feline characteristics were achieved through sleek movements and facial gestures.
‘Uncle Chrissie’ White and his entourage of musicians provided great accompaniment to enthusiastic singing and energetic dancing and the chorus numbers provided good all round entertainment.
The front of tabs scenes, necessary for scene changing were generally weaker than the main scenes on stage, however, a well directed show by Kelly White, who coincidentally co-wrote the show with Gavin Davy, provided a large amount of laughs and good entertainment for all the family.
Uncertainty over the future over Eynsford Village Hall may jeopardise future high quality pantomimes by this group, which would be a distinct shame. Oh yes it will!