A long time, maybe 10 years has passed since the last time I was at Perth Panto. A screaming 3 year old petrified of the wicked witch in the first few minutes gave me a fear of going back for quite some time, and I've let the Brownies and Guide leaders do the honours since then.
So, when we offered to review the Panto this year, the now 13 year old was warned we weren't leaving early this time! Armed with snacks, juice and our best singing voices, my two girls and I headed for Dick McWhittington at Perth Concert Hall.
The story starts with Queen Rat and her rodent army swarming all over Perth. Queen Rat played the baddie very well and got a chorus of 'Boo's' every time she graced the stage from the audience (myself included!)Whilst the baddies are running riot around Perth, Dick McWhittington is on his way to find X Factor fame and fortune on the Megabus to London, but is called back by the audience to save Perth from being taken over by the army of rats led by Queen Rat. Along with his Kitty, he takes on the rats with the help of the wonderful dame Senga and her son Sandy.
Also coming along for the adventure is his love interest Melody and her father Stanley Mills (and his photo of Anne Gloag which he carried everywhere.) They travel to Morrocco to sell sweets to Sultan Vinegar, but the rats become stow aways and the adventures continue on the high seas.
Even though I swear I read every story ever written to my kids when they were little, they don't remember the plot of this one, and to be honest neither do I really but I knew there was a cat and a trip to London. It would seem though that Dick wasn't so keen to visit the Capital in this version, in fact he ends up in Morocco! The story has definitely been updated, developed, modified from the original but it works, with the Fairy Maid of Perth helpfully filling in the plot holes where needed!
A great panto always follows a formula. The pantomime dame with outlandish costumes and an air of desperation to get a man, jokes for the kids and jokes for the adults, some local references (they're were tons!) and a good old sing off. Dick McWhittington had all of that. In fact it was very Perth focussed. I think any Councillors in the audience might have had a wee sweat on a couple of times - but it all raised a laugh! The film at the start showing Perth collapsing into the sewers along with the references to places and people around Perthshire made this a really fun night out. The sets were great, colourful, dramatic and the musicians did a great job of setting the scene. All the actors were excellent, the kids were really impressive, and we loved Sandy, Senga, Dick, Kitty and Melody. Oh and Stanley Mills (like I said it's very Perth).
Pantos are a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, and im really glad to report this did the job. No first night nerves on show and a great all round performance. We're recommending the Panto as a great addition to your Perth Christmas! Oh yes we are (sorry!)
Don't miss your chance to see the amazing Dick McWhittington at Perth Concert Hall. It's on until Monday 26th December. Snap up your tickets by visiting their Website HERE>>>