Ring away the winter blues with Dick Whittington in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 January 2020

Some of the cast for Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of Dick Whittington. Picture: HCTC

Some of the cast for Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of Dick Whittington. Picture: HCTC

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The pantomime, Dick Whittington, will be staged in Honiton in February.

Some of the cast for Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of Dick Whittington. Picture: HCTCSome of the cast for Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of Dick Whittington. Picture: HCTC

Honiton Community Theatre Company is turning again to the tale of Dick Whittington (and his cat) for it's annual pantomime.

The company's annual panto comes to The Beehive this February, with the tale of Dick Whittington providing the backdrop for a splendid evening of mayhem, mess and a bloke in a dress.

Unlike many traditional panto plots, this one is rooted in fact.

The real Richard Whittington (1350-1423) was a Gloucestershire-born politician and merchant who rose to the rank of Lord Mayor of London four times.

His story passed into folklore, then became the subject of several popular ballads and plays over the years.

The pantomime version began to evolve in the early 1800s into the raggle-taggle tale we know and love today: there's a cat, London's Bow bells, a journey from rags to riches, a Rat King, a perilous sea voyage, an evil witch, and a funky sultan complete with a large harem of 'followers'.

At The Beehive there will also be plenty of chasing about and cheesy jokes, audience participation and jumping production numbers, a cracking live band, silliness, soppiness, and a happy ending.

There are faces both familiar and new in this year's cast: Hannah Mountain plays Dick, and Sarah Pottinger his love interest, Alice.

Sarah is doubly busy as she is also the choreographer.

Tina Paveley is Evil Esmerelda, who is in league with King Rat, played by Josie Denning.

HCTC newcomers Mark Usher and James Alsop play Alderman Fitzwarren and the Sultan respectively, while Andy Pottinger, Jaron Bonetta, Lou Pottinger and Sally Cregan also feature.

And the bloke in the dress? None other than Warrant Officer of the Band of the Salamanca Rifles and Bugles, Richard Cregan.

Produced by Lisa Sutton and directed by Shaun Bonetta, Dick Whittington is guaranteed to light up The Beehive from Tuesday, February 18 to Saturday, February 22.

Performances are due to start at 7pm each evening, with a matinee performance lined up for the Saturday, at 2pm.

Tickets, costing £14, with under-16s getting in for £8, are available from The Beehive, Dowell Street. Call 01404 384050. Alternatively, visit www.beehivehoniton.co.uk

The pantomime is often popular, so it is wise to book early.

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