Let’s get ready to rumble, it’s the start of the festive season at The Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool with this year’s pantomime Scouse Dick Whittington. Written by Kevin Fearon and Directed by Mark Chatterton. In the City of Liverpool, it has all gone array, there are no cats within the city as King Rat (Andrew Schofield) has had them killed. Mayor Bradley Fitzwarren (Liam Tobin) is forced to step down as mayor and his daughter Alice (Hayley Sheen) are wondering who can replace him other than King Rat as Mayor. Meanwhile Holly Head (Lindzi Germain) and her son D*ck Head (Adam McCoy), have just returned from a lovely little holiday. When they see a dead cat in the road all of a sudden with a flash bang a fairy (Paige Fenlon) appears. She brings back Cat (Jamie Clarke) from the dead, but she must be kept safe so that King Rat can’t become the new Mayor of Liverpool. However, it is decided that Dick needs to go up against King Rat in the Race for Mayor, but King Rat believes this won’t be possible unless he raises £1 million as stated in the declaration but only has 24 hours to find it. So, D*ck Head with his trusted Cat goes on a voyage to find the £1 million needed to beat King Rat.
Anyone who follows the Royal Court shows knows that this is the biggest event in the season calendar and indeed in the city it often has a sell-out run from when the tickets are announced to be on sale. So, there was a lot of excitement within the room. Like usual with the Royal Court Productions there were local jokes, quick fire wit and a bending of the script here or there. The audience was fully invested, and the actors were fully reaping what they sown and feeling the benefit of their hard work. However, having seen many shows at the theatre and many of the pantomimes there. I felt that this wasn’t as good as previous years. Some gags were lost due to being thrown away or they felt rushed because they had to jump in for their music cues. I felt that some moments could have been slowed down to allow us as the audience to appreciate the jokes being delivered. I did wonder if it was due to the late start that it felt rushed. It is a very good production and the patrons around me enjoyed it.
Normally when watching the shows, I am itching to see it again. However, once was enough for me. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I wish the cast, band and creatives a successful remaining run and if you haven’t got tickets yet and can get one then I would say it’s worth the watch to escape the humdrum of life and you need a little escape.
Playing until 27th January 2024, https://liverpoolsroyalcourt.com/
Reviewer: Luke Stephenson
Reviewed: 15th November 2023
North West End UK Rating: