Dick Whittington

A pantomime full of fun, joy and vitality - oh yes it was! 

Photo: Chris Higgins

By our Reviewer

It was a privilege to go and watch the Bishop Monkton pantomime, Dick Whittington. This wonderful show, directed by Tina Harper and produced by Angie Archbold, involved some 60 Bishop Monkton residents both on stage and behind the scenes. 

The curtains opened to a young flower girl (Izzy Way) alone on the stage singing ‘Who will Buy’ and continued to be filled with vitality and joy and it buzzed along all night. We were transported from the streets of London to Morocco on the boat ’The Pickled Herring’ where we visited the Sultana’s Palace, and then back to London again. The changing scenery was fantastic and helped us to journey through the story.

Maureen Kinnear was a dazzling fairy granting all the wishes, David Banks a powerful and scary King Rat ably assisted by his henchmen, Oliver and Max Bailey, Gemma Ryder-Burr a troubled shop keeper with Angie Archbold (Oh she was Fed Up) and Richard Harper as Sarah her helpers.(Would true love triumph in the end?) 

All helped to keep the story moving along at a good pace. However the delight of the show was to see a group of year 5 to 9 year pupils play some of the main characters. Izzy Spencer a delightful Dick strutting along full of confidence, her cat Tommy played by Xavier Atkinson never stopped being in part even when he was not centre stage, Rebecca Worthington as Alice was charming, Maisie Heap was a commanding Sultana and Ellie Bailey and Rose Cottrell as Captain Port and Starboard kept us amused with their constant round of jokes and puns.

A quartet of sparkling dancers, Grace Nelson, Izzy Way, Hebe and Anna Hobson were full of energy and fun. Gemma Ryder-Burr had choreographed their moves and trained them well. The confidence of the young people was outstanding. Many excellent musical items involved soloists young and old backed by a strong adult chorus and a hard working pianist in Sue Cornwell.

It would be remiss not to mention the fantastic costumes made by Elizabeth Wilkinson and her team. Those worn by Sarah were particularly striking and the hats tremendous. Also the lighting and sound effects, led by Chris Higgins, really enhanced the performance. 

There were many others behind the scenes, and front of house helping, but too many to mention here though without their support it would not have been possible to stage the show. 





Photos: Basil Birchall


Congratulations all round

A letter from Gerald Shervington

'CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who was involved in Dick Whittington, which Gerald Shervington describes as a 'memorable panto' in his letter printed below:'I feel I must write to congratulate Bishop Monkton Entertainment Group (BMEG) on their very successful production of the pantomime Dick Whittington and his Cat!

At each showing approximately 100 people enjoyed a very funny and talented two and a half hours of traditional British fun...... oh yes they did!

I understand that some 65 people gave up most Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for five months from the middle of September last year in order to put on this very professional pantomime.

The actors who played the various characters must be applauded for their professionalism 
and dedication, but for me, it was the younger performers who in my humble opinion 'stole the show', their singing, confidence and one-liners was fantastic.

Whilst we doubtfully have some fantastic stage talent within BMEG, I feel we must also congratulate those not seen during a performance, event's like this wouldn't happen if it wasn't for people, directing, changing props, applying make-up, prompting, controllers of lighting and sound and not forgetting all of the very, very talented artists and seamstresses who made and painted the props and sewed some fabulous costumes, your imagination and creativity is outstanding!

Well done to everyone who were part of this memorable village performance and to the 400+ people who came to watch!'

Gerald Shervington

Chairman and part-time cannibal