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Arts Diary: PANTOMIME Dick Whittington/ Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold.

Byline: LEW BAXTER

THE only obvious flaw with director Peter Rowe's lively and wonderfully over-the-top panto is surely that most of the wildly enthusiastic 10-strong cast will wind up either flat out on their backs - or worse - from sheer exhaustion.

Once again Rowe - who has collaborated with writer Alan Ellis on the wacky script - has injected a high-energy pace which even leaves the audiences totally pooped after its exhilarating two-hour frolic but is a triumph of a treat.

This marvellous theatre in Mold has a deserved reputation for its festive output which rarely fails to ignite and this bright, breezy and bouncing production ensures that folk of all ages can once again cheer and shout along with abandon as Dick, naturally a Welshman in this setting, played by Daniel Lloyd, tackles the big bad rat.

And what a glorious rascal of a King Rat is Martin George, all leering, sneering evil as he plots to outwit the good citizens of London and their plans to elect a new Lord Mayor. The traditional dame in British panto is one of the mainstays of the genre and here Rowe has introduced a secret weapon with Phylip Harries hugely larger than life as the terrifically lewd, luscious and loopy Sarah the Cook whose rapport with the audience is instant and engaging.

The cast are clearly having great fun and, as usual, all play musical instruments and sing a variety of well known songs that ensures the show romps along: credits here to musical director Greg Palmer but also to the performers. Georgina Field as Thomasina the Cat could star as a solo saxophonist.

Wendy Parkin's Fairy Nuff gleefully narrates the tale with Christopher Fry as the bumbling Billy Barnacle in love with the delectable Alice, a role that Elaine Glover clearly relishes, while Jane Milligan as Bosun Bodgit, Kraig Thornber as Alderman Fitzwarren and Rhodri Evan as another gruesome but loveable rat hurl themselves around in a frenzy

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Daniel Lloyd
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 5, 2005
Words:329
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