THAT panto survives at all in an age of austerity and political correctness is a wonder. But when it is as joyously, traditionally, throw-off-your-worries exuberant as this one, now that is miraculous.
The omens were good: Christopher ‘if ever a man was designed for panto’ Biggins! Basil ‘Boom! Boom!’ Brush!
A handsome young leading man and a fair damsel in distress! And an over-the-top baddie with no redeeming qualities! When the world is painted in black and white brush strokes and the audience is regularly assaulted by songs, bad puns, sweeties and water from water pistols, how could you not have fun?
And thanks to Messrs Biggins and Brush, along with James Barron as King Rat and a superb cast, that is exactly what happened. The audience noisily joined in, sang along, laughed and cried, booed and hissed on – and off – cue and everybody had a whale of a time.
Dick Whittington plays until January 19. Ticket details: 01752 267222.