Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle -

WEM­B­LEY Theatre Com­pany di­rec­tor Bryce Man­ning’s phi­los­o­phy is to stick with a win­ning for­mula and he found it in 1995 with the pan­tomime adap­ta­tions of Tony Ni­cholls.

“We have six of the best pan­tomimes, all writ­ten by Tony Ni­cholls that we do in a cy­cle,” Man­ning said.

“We be­gan with The Ad­ven­tures of Dick Whit­ting­ton and his Cat in 1998 and in 2015 its time to do it again.”

Fea­tur­ing a cast of 15 rang­ing in age from 12 to 60, The Ad­ven­tures of Dick Whit­ting­ton and his Cat is a clas­sic panto where Man­ning said the au­di­ence en­joyed an easy to un­der­stand sto­ry­line full of ad­ven­tures, songs, role re­ver­sals and hu­mour.

“The lovers, the bad­dies, the he­roes, the id­iots are all there and taken straight from the cen­turies old Com­me­dia dell’arte,” he said.

“I like the pace that Tony in­cor­po­rates in his work; his sense of tim­ing with the hu­mour is spot on and he en­velopes the au­di­ence, young and old, in a world of magic for two hours.

“It is just a sim­ple nurs­ery time story but ev­ery­one is glued to the stage to see what will hap­pen next.”

The Ad­ven­tures of Dick Whit­ting­ton and his Cat fol­lows the tale of Whit­ting­ton who trav­els to Lon­don to be­come Lord Mayor.

He is helped by The Cat dur­ing his rocky trav­els and falls in love with Alice Fitzwar­ren.

“Dick is an hon­est soul seek­ing to make his for­tune in Lon­don but there is so much more to him,” Man­ning said.

Man­ning will per­form again this year in the role of King Rat, which he de­scribed as “the bad­dest of the bad­dies so I an­tic­i­pate lots of boo­ing and hiss­ing”.

He said he hoped au­di­ences walked away with a big smile and the un­der­stand­ing not to take life too se­ri­ously.

“Watch­ing a panto is a great way for the fam­ily to en­joy theatre to­gether,” Man­ning said.

“To share an ex­pe­ri­ence that makes ev­ery­one smile and feel happy.”

Tanya MacNaughton

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d444318

Mirela Ionascu, Bryce Man­ning and Ruth Burke.

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