When you hear the words ‘adult panto’ it conjures up all kinds of images. Much like a movie given an ’18′ certificate, anything could happen when the kids are not in the room. In this respect, Dick manages to be charming and unique by giving the audience a dose of crude humour enveloped in children’s wrapping paper, and kept us thoroughly amused all evening.
The story is as wild and unusual as you would expect of any pantomime, with a quest for the family jewels, not to mention the key to one of our leading lady’s chastity belt, propelling us along. This is how we meet the lovely young Rae Brogan, who portrays young heiress Alice, a ditsy yet innocent chav-like girl in a Dorothy Gale costume, along with her acerbic relative Sofonda Cox, played by the show-stopping Miss Dusty O.
As the show progresses, a wider range of hilarious characters are introduced, including a thespian cat, a wicked witch and fairy called Bell End, and the eponymous Dick, who was played by the hilarious Gary Albert Hughes. There is not a particular cohesive story; the show essentially relies on the strong brand of humour to maintain the momentum, meaning that a credible plot is not missed very much.
The point of the show is to make the audience laugh, which it manages to do constantly. It is true that it takes a while to warm up, but once the actors get into their stride, you will be laughing until you cry. Dusty O herself is a revelation and manages to give her role an amazing comic twist, proving herself able to raise laugh with just one look or a single well-timed gesture.
The humour on offer here is all very much in the vein of panto humour mixed with crude puns and cheap laughs. In this way, it manages to resemble a very well made Carry On film. That being said, there are several occasions where the cast break the fourth wall and involve the audience with their on-stage antics. They aren’t trying to take themselves too seriously and, by trying to make it as fun as they can, you can’t help but be carried along by their hilarious capers. Special mention needs to go out to Lucyelle Cliffe, who brought the part of villain Queen Runt to life. Her every expression was priceless and, even on the rare occasion where she broke down in giggles, just made everything feel like so much fun. Considering half of what was happening on stage, we were surprised she didn’t crease up sooner.
One thing to watch out for would be the moments of audience participation, which comes in various forms and will leave you chuckling away on more than one occasion. Without giving too much away, beware the first rows if you want to purely be a spectator. However, if you are brave enough to embrace the spirit of the show, take a seat in prime position and be ready to take part in some of the funniest things you will see on stage this Christmas season.
This is certainly not a show for the faint hearted, or those who are easily shocked. However, this is a show that will have you laughing until it hurts on more than one occasion, and will certainly be a joyful night out for you and your friends. This is a show we cannot recommend highly enough, and we guarantee it will be an unforgettable night of laughter for you.
Dick will be playing at the Leicester Square Theatre until 20 January 2012, and tickets are available from their website.