Being a regular attendee at productions staged by Aldridge Musical Comedy Society for some years, I had no reservations in recommending and subsequently, going to see their latest pantomime offering. Staged at Great Wyrley High School, Dick Whittington and the Pirate King is the sequel to the 2010 award-winning Dick Whittington, written and produced by long-time member, Mark Nicholls.
From the moment the music began and the pirates emerged from the rear of the auditorium while engaged in a sword fight, you were taken on a roller-coaster ride of superb acting, great song and wonderfully choreographed dance. An excellent well written script had time fly at some speed. Not only that, it was very funny. Pirates, a wheelchair bound voodoo lady, sea siren and a dancing cat. There was even an acrobatic monkey in amongst the usual suspects to be found in the universe Dick Whittington.
As a rock music lover, I admit to never having heard the song, Moves Like Jagger, before. However, I was thoroughly impressed, particularly by the camp geekiness of Joe Fisher playing James Swan during the number. He reminded me of a Matt Smith Doctor Who. Cool to be nerdy – right. And if I did crave a bit of the harder stuff, that was present with a brilliant rendition of Seven Seas of Rhye by Pirate King, Chris Parry and the full company. You can’t beat a bit of Queen.
The other song which springs to mind was the Alice and Angelica Marley duet, Defying Gravity, performed respectively by Nikki Watts and Hattie Sketchley-Bates. Oh, I do hate reviewing, it’s hard for the author not to mention everybody but as one of the songs stated, You Would If You Could. Take my word, they were all great, as was the music provided by the orchestra.
The Scooby Doo style chase had me in stitches during a rendition of Help, and I just remembered, the glove puppets who provided backing vocals on Xanadu. Surreal, or what?
Pirate King is the second in a proposed trilogy. Hopefully, like 2010, this panto outing will gain awards as was the case then. Roll on the next installment and the final chapter for Dick and the merry gang. To be continued …
There was one thing. I didn’t think I’d be joining in with audience participation thus having to encourage my kids to perform the Funky Gibbon. It was an effort where I failed miserably. Where’s the spirit of joining in with young folk these days?