Review: Dick Whittington - “An energetic performance driven by master of the ad-lib - Terry Gauci

Meet the characters of Dick Whittington as KD Theatre launch their Christmas pantomime at Poets Hous

Meet the characters of Dick Whittington as KD Theatre launch their Christmas pantomime at Poets House in Ely. Picture: MIKE ROUSE. - Credit: Archant

Dick Whittington at The Maltings in Ely contains all the right elements for a successful family pantomime.

We laughed, we booed, we hissed and we held our breath in anticipation when the plastic sheeting was rolled out for the slap-stick cake-making scene.

A energetic performance from the entire cast which is driven by the impeccable comedy timing and ad-lib skills of Terry Gauci who played Sarah Sweet Tooth.

Gauci comes with some impressive comedy credentials and shines brightly when he addresses the audience in those unscripted parts of the show which can easily back-fire. No worries on that score, KD Productions and The Maltings audience on Sunday morning were in safe hands. Gauci also takes a hand, along with Daniel Bell, in writing this season's production and credit must go to the pair for the results which were hilarious.

One of my favourite routines was the exercise scene with Gauci, Aaron Carr (Dick Whittington) the Captain (Terry Burns) and Tommy the cat (David McNair). It was incredibly funny and although Carr is obviously extremely fit, when he started to turn red in the face and struggle to maintain his plank move it was even funnier.

Also funny and very clever was the underwater scene. My two grandchildren, aged five and six, were enthralled.

I would like to have seen more of Lucinda Withers who was dazzling as the Enchantress of the Thames and special mention to Terry Burns (captain/sultan) who has the ability to make people laugh with a facial expression and made a natural comedy partner for Gauci.

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If I had to nit-pick, I would say more could have been made of the cake-making scene. Maybe a bit more mess and slipping and sliding. It was almost there, but not quite. And I only say this because I have seen a previous KD panto where it was done to perfection.

Other than that, panto as it should be and looking forward to coming to see the Wizard of Oz next year.

Dick Whittington runs at The Maltings in Ely until January 5. Tickets from £14 at: