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Dick Whittington And His Cat - The Pantomime

Roger Hall’s
Dick Whittington And His Cat

The Pantomime

Songs by Paul Jenden and Michael Nicholas Williams

Directed by Susan Wilson

… look out behind you!!

It’s the Christmas Season! The party season! The season of magic for children large and small. AND the season for Circa’s fabulous Roger Hall panto! This year, the team that brought you Cinderella, Aladdin, Jack & the Beanstalk and RED Riding Hood is back, with one of the great traditional pantomime stories.

on Saturday 14th November at 8pm.

And being a Roger Hall panto everyone knows you’re in for lots of hilarious topical jokes, comic antics, bright lively music, amazing costumes and that all-important panto ingredient – audience participation. It’s time to get into the spirit of the season and join the fun!!

In a bygone era, long ago, brave young Dick leaves his home town (of Hawera) with, of course, his cat! He is on his way to Wellington seeking fame and fortune. What adventures await him! He meets the mayor, falls in love, stows away, is shipwrecked on a tropical island and is forced to fight the evil King Rat.

And no matter where he travels, Dick cannot shake off his mother - a "poor lonely widow woman". Ohhhhhhhhh!

Dick Whittington and his Cat stars a fantastic line-up of singing and acting talent – some old faces and some new.

Heading the team as The Dame is the highly versatile Stephen Gledhill. Well-known to Circa audiences for his comedy and character roles (ART, The Winslow Boy, An Inspector Calls), Stephen is also a favourite with Wellington Musical Theatre audiences (Guys and Dolls, 42nd Street, Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music). Now he is having enormous fun with a role that draws on all his skills.

“I remember as a kid in the North of England the thrill of Panto Season when there was a choice of pantos live on stage in the local theatres,” says Stephen. “ It seems that every town in England had a panto and every show was packed with excited kids.

“I was involved in three pantos in the early 70's up at Victoria Memorial Theatre; not as the Dame but as one half of the comic knockabout duo. What enormous fun! We even extended one season into Lower Hutt.

“You can imagine my response when Sue Wilson invited me to join the highly successful Circa Pantomime team as the Dame!

“Rehearsals are such a joy, with comic songs by Paul Jenden and original music by Michael Nicholas Williams. Everyone contributes to Roger Hall's script with topicalities and innuendos which make pantomime what it is. - a rollicking good night out for all the family but especially for the kids who will carry the experience with them for the rest of their lives, just as their grandparents have. I know I'm not the only one who can't wait for the Panto Season to start!
“Long Live Panto!”

Paul Harrop, who plays Dick Whittington, is a total newcomer to the world of panto.

"I've never seen a pantomime live on stage,” he says, “in fact my entire relationship to panto has been through how they're portrayed in film and television. I am loving the experience so far, especially being part of a Wellington tradition."

But the other Paul - Paul Jenden– was brought up on Wellington pantos.
“Dick Whittington and his Cat is etched in my memory as the first pantomime I ever saw,” he says, “with the incomparable Dorothy McKegg and David Tinkham in the Wellington Opera House. So it's an absolute thrill to play, at long last, the Cat.”

And what would a pantomime be without a villain (Boo! Hiss!). Nick Blake, who plays the evil King Rat is very pleased that in New Zealand the panto season is in summer!

“This is my second Panto,” he says. “The first one was in Newcastle on Tyne in the 1970s where I played numerous roles in a Panto based on Alice in Wonderland. We had an exhilarating couple of months touring it to snow bound towns in the North of England. The audiences were great though - raucous families who participated vigorously! Crowd control skills are a vital part of Panto performance.”

Festive fun for everyone! Not to be missed!

Starring -

“Fast paced, packed with songs, corny puns & topical jokes - a fun night out”
- DomPost (Aladdin)

“A fun family romp … full of the joys of the festive season - so do yourselves and the kids a favour and go!” - Theatreview (Aladdin)

“A great way to introduce kids to the magic of theatre … easily the ideal Xmas outing for the holidays ... a treat” - Salient (Red Riding Hood)

14th NOVEMBER – 23rd DECEMBER 2009

2nd – 16th JANUARY 2010


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