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Ricky Whittington and his Cat: All Hail the New Panto

Forget trying to get tickets for Book of Mormon, come and see this excellent panto at the New Diorama Theatre instead. Both shows play knowingly with form, to hilarious effect and team this with top-notch singing. So far, so meta. Often the musical numbers are fillers in between plot points but not so with Ricky Whittington and his Cat – the ringing voices and harmonies of this most up-to-date of English pantos made SEEN roar with laughter, as well as wince.


Taking as its starting point the sad fate of tenants thrown out of their houses only for them to be razed to the ground for the building of new flats (sound familiar?), the young idealistic Ricky (Charlotte Ritchie) and his worldly-wise Cat (Omar Ibrahim) set out for London to seek their fortunes – by Ricky becoming mayor and foiling the dastardly King Rat (Rob Carter). The clever use of projection and stage sets, not say the kind guidance of Ricky’s mum, Pig Pam (David Elms, in that most English of theatrical guises: drag) kept the audience on track and treated us all to that other most English theatrical trait: audience participation, and occasional good-natured humiliation.


SEEN certainly felt part of the action. When you’re on the front row, you’re practically on the stage, but this only adds to the warm participatory feeling. The hard-working cast were clearly having a ball, satirising all those aspects of London life that we like to moan about: high rents and mortgages, rascally estate agents, box-sized flats, the pros and cons of gentrification and enshrines our time-honoured method of dealing with these hardships – going to the pub. Truly, a panto for today.


On until the 7th January 2017
Tickets: £16/£15

New Diorama Theatre
15-16 Triton Street
Regent’s Place