My husband and I both have fond memories of going to the panto at Christmas when we were younger and we were really excited to take our boys, aged three and five years, for the first time. We went to see Dick Whittington at Wycombe Swan last weekend.
It was created by Qdos Entertainment who have been producing pantomimes for over 38 years and have an amazing 754 pantomimes to their name so far so they really know what they’re doing.
Dick Whittington has everything you’d want from a Panto; puns, romance, audience participation, songs, sword-fighting, and plenty of humour. The hero is played by professional dancer and Love Island finalist, Curtis Pritchard, whilst the heroine is played by Keira-Nicole Brennan who hosts Channel 5’s Milkshake. The cast also includes the fantastically evil baddie King Rat as well as Idle Jack and Dame Sarah Fitzwarren both of whom had brilliant comedic timing. My five year old found Idle Jack’s jokes particularly hilarious! There are also lots of other cast members including the magical Spirit of Bow Bells, Sultan Vinegar and classically trained ballet dancer TomTom the Tom Cat. As well as the brilliant chorus, Dick Whittington also features children from the local Jackie Palmer Stage School.
I was amazed at both the number of costume changes, as well as the elaborate costumes themselves. The scenery also deserves a mention for the same reasons. There was one particular scene with a shark in the second half which was particularly breathtaking – although I won’t give away exactly what happens! As well as having everything you’d expect from a Panto such as calls for ‘oh no he didn’t’, special effects, music, jokes and action packed choreography, there were also some amazing dance routines (as you’d expect when one of the cast members has represented the UK in World Championships).
Even though I live locally, I’d never been to the Wycombe Swan before. I was really impressed and am now keeping an eye out for more shows I can go and see there next year. It’s right in the centre of High Wycombe but they have a very large multi-storey car park next door which makes parking easy.
They also have great facilities inside. As well as different bars to buy refreshments from before the performance and during the interval, they also have stalls in the foyer with merchandise for kids (including giant thumbs up hands and swords that light up). What impressed me most of all however, was the really kind and thoughtful staff.
My three year old found the noise and special effects a little overwhelming so we were offered the use of a quieter viewing room where we could adjust the volume which was extremely helpful.
I really enjoyed taking our boys to their very first pantomime and would recommend Dick Whittington at Wycombe Swan for anyone looking for a fun family afternoon out over the festive period. Dick Whittington runs until 5th January 2020.
Our tickets were complimentary but all views and opinions are my own.