Dick Whittington at the National Theatre

A much needed dose of gaiety and silliness is on the menu at the National Theatre this December. Peter Gray reports.

As London begins to reopen following the 2nd national lockdown, a new pantomime based on the story of Dick Whittington is all set to open at the National Theatre on the 11th of December. (SAGE) Oh no it isn’t. (National Theatre) Oh yes it is!

While 2020 has seemed like one long pantomime at times, Dick Whittington is the real thing, and the opening of the show once again demonstrates that London is starting to get back to its best after its Annus Horribilis.

And what a jolly way to begin again! A staple of pantomime season, Dick Whittington can traditionally be relied upon for fun and laughs, and the National Theatre’s Whittington opens promising ‘the cheekiest of jokes, the chattiest of animals, the awesomest of songs and the messiest of silliness’. Which translates as: just what the doctor ordered at the end of this most difficult of years. 

The tale has been given a fresh lick of paint by writers Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd and they are ably abetted here by a superb cast including Dickie Beau, Amy Booth-Steel, Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings, Georgina Onuorah, and Cleve September.

Dick Wittington will be the first production to grace the National Theatre’s newly transformed Olivier Theatre. The auditorium has been reconfigured in order to stage performances in-the-round, and now, armed with a capacity of almost 500 people, the venue is the perfect place for socially distanced fun.

Not surprisingly, given the current situation regarding the pandemic, the National Theatre have prioritised the safety and wellbeing of their guests. As such, tickets are only available online, refreshments must be pre-ordered during the booking process and the seating in the theatre has been arranged into groups of four seats. Which means that parties of five or six will be split into two groups in the auditorium. However, even that doesn’t look like it will come close to ruining what is lining up to be one of the big treats of Christmas 2020.

The current production of Dick Whittington at the National Theatre has been suspended due to the Coronavirus Crisi. You can find out more about the play here.

For information on other theatre productions currently playing in London, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: pantomime
When: suspended
Where: National Theatre
Website: Dick Whittington