A stellar line-up including Andy Scott-Lee as Dick and the loveable Ricky Groves as Idle Jack really brought this performance to life for your correspondent,
I was treated (!?) to a performance for Peterborough schools, and at certain times the young cacophony howled, other times giggled, and there’s no doubt they loved it.
Starting with the eye-catching fairground set, visually this is a rich and colourful show to savour.
The songs weren’t my ideal choice; I despise The Wanted with a passion which is ‘a little bit frightening’, to quote their own musical atrocity.
But the singing itself was superb (particularly from Andy, unsurprisingly) and a grizzled journalist is not the intended audience anyway.
One of my favourite moments followed Dick ordering Tommy the Cat back to London for compassionate reasons; as the moody mog slunk away a very young voice behind shouted in disgust above the ‘aaahh’ sound “You’ve hurt his feelings now!”
Another highlight was the plight of one poor lad in the audience named Antonio, who had previously ‘proposed’ to the dame Sarah the Cook (Zach Vanderfelt) when cast members visited his school.
The offer was not forgotten and resurfaced several times in the script, a great personal touch enjoyed by Antonio and his friends.
The company dancers were particularly good, with barely a foot out of place, and I really enjoyed Tommy (George Dee), a high-kicking rat destroyer whose showdown with King Rat (Lawrence Stubbings) is a little more Freddie Flintoff than Rocky, but entertaining nevertheless.
This is not a show for those who want the spicy adult humour that another panto not so far away offers. But this one has more tradition and more innocence, and your kids will love it.
Dick Whittington plays until December 30, more information at www.cresset.co.uk