If you enjoy a bawdy joke, this is your theatre show. If you enjoy raunchy theatrical displays of homoerotic love, this is your theatre show. If you enjoy interactive theatre-in-the-round, this is your theatre show. theatre show! Just when you thought the cast of Charming Dick couldn’t push the envelope any further, they do, and how. They know no boundaries. This isn’t your children’s panto. This is full-on adult panto!
The show opens with Little Red Riding Hood skipping across the stage. Abigail Carter-Simpson plays Babe and carries a wicker basket and sings and dances her way into the audience’s heart. What a voice! And what lewd jokes she makes. The dichotomy was perplexing and could only ever really happen in the panto realm. This is what makes this panto so much fun. It is silly and funny and makes you stop to ponder.
The titular character, Big Dick, played by Alistair Frederick. is a big-eyed, small-town boy whose dream we see unfold before our eyes. He plans to open a nightclub with his Aunt Twankey, who repeatedly insists that the T is silent.
Played by Tim McArthur, Aunt Twankey is hilarious. She and Big Dick are a team and from the audience you can see their chemistry. This reviewer imagines they are good friends offstage. Several times during the performance, the characters went off script and ad-libbed. On a few occasions, they started cracking up, as if their own lines were making them laugh hysterically, and we too in the audience laughed along.
There was much hissing and booing when the Wicked Witch, played by Matthew Floyd Jones, took centre stage. A man in drag in true panto fashion, the Wicked Witch belted out tune after tune. His voice and presence were stellar. And oh what a slim curvy figure he flaunted in his long sparkly gown. At his entrance, he wore a long gray velvet cape and held a crystal ball. The Wicked Witch admitted to the audience, “My crystal ball is cellotape.” And everyone fell into a roar of laughter.
The character of Charming was so out-there in true panto form. Played by Stewart Briggs, he was charming indeed and handsome, too, in his over-sized uniform coat, looking much like a true prince. There was one particular scene in which Prince Charming and Big Dick were in bed together during what they described as “the morning after the night before,” which was odd and made you stop and think for a bit. Like much of the dialogue, you are thinking: What does that mean? Maybe it means nothing and it is ok!
The entire show was accompanied by a phenomenal pianist who was a character in the panto, just as the others. The pianist interacted with the characters and was a source of hilarity along with the rest of the cast. Charming Dick is a panto like none other and one not to be missed.
Review by Jennifer Daley
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s 2015 adult panto CHARMING DICK is coming to The Cockpit – Oh yes it is!
Come and cheer for Dick who has come to London to seek fame, fortune and the big time, but ends up working in a launderette with his Aunt Twankey – a has been cabaret star (well, who isn’t).
Hiss and boo at the Wicked Witch, determined to get her hands on the launderette and turn out poor Twankey (silent t) in order to obtain the lamp that confers powers to transform gay clubs into gold (or just gives a very good light).
Sing-along with Babe, the Eurovision wannabe superstar, as she plans her nuptials to Prince Charming.
But will Charming marry her? Will Dick become the big bar promoter he wants to be? Will Twankey lose the launderette? How far is the wicked witch prepared to go to get her evil hands on the lamp? Will Charming and Dick ever build that snowman together? And why is Red Riding Hood in this panto?!?
Charming Dick is filled with panto classics. Hissing, booing, and enough song and dance to make Eurovision look positively dull, all bought up to date for you big dirty kids aged 18 and over and featuring some of our favourite drag artists. Book now!
A RVT & Cockpit Production
6th – 23rd December