Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Panto Review: Sam Bailey stars in Dick Whittington at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Dick Whittington 
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 14th December 2015

Marking my only traditional pantomime of the season, Dick Whittington at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is enjoyable for those wanting a fun family outing. 

Despite paving way for some terrifically terrible innuendos, Dick Whittington is probably the least popular panto title; the story is practically non-existent but does provide a good excuse for the ensemble to dress as sailors and sing 'Go West'.

Making her panto and acting debut is 2013 X Factor winner Sam Bailey who saves the show with her powerhouse diva vocals; Bailey's rendition of Whitney's 'One Moment In Time', which ends the first half, is the highlight of the evening. 

The cast are good and seem to enjoy themselves, but aside from Bailey the show lacks major stand outs. However, mentions must go to Rachael Louise Miller and Andy Collins who give their all as Alice and Idle Jack. I also have a soft spot for the always fabulous Melanie Masson who belts out a song or two as Queen Rat.

It was disappointing that so much of the music is orchestrated on a robotic-sounding click track. The sound levels weren't quite on point, with the music and pre-recorded backing vocals drowning out live singing. 

The audience seemed to have a lovely time; no panto would be complete without a drunk group seated at the back who jump to their feet screaming "Who are you?" when they get a shout out from Idle Jack.

The musical numbers are performed with energy; there are songs for both the younger and older generations to hum along to. Bailey is a joy; panto marks a nice stepping stone for her as she prepares to take on her first musical next year, starring in the UK tour of Chicago.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Dick Whittington runs at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Sunday 3rd January 2016.
Please visit www.atgtickets.com for further information and tickets.

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