Traditional panto comes to Rep
Chuckles galore as the newly appointed cast of Dick Whittington and His Cat met for the first read through of Repertory Theatre’s Christmas pantomime.
It’s the usual panto formula of corny jokes, local references, double entendres and stock characters that always manage to make us smile.
Heath McKenzie will play the lead role of Dick Whittington, a naive lad from Ha¯ wera who goes to the big smoke, Wellington, to seek his fortune.
On his way he meets the Villain, played by Richard Leith, who fleeces him.
On his arrival in Wellington he finds his mother Dame Whittington (a.k.a. Phil Hudson) has also gone to the capital to find work.
When he meets Alice, the mayor’s daughter, played by Millie Manning, he loses his heart to her and determines to marry her but first he must convince her father (David Craig) that he is a worthy suitor.
The comedy duo of Ethel (Ashlyn Morris) and Cecil (Maddie McKenzie) provide continuity as well as laughs while they encourage audience participation.
Ian Jones has been cast as the bosun and James Graves will play the Chieftain.
Of course, Dick has to have a cat and this role has been assigned to Isobel McKenzie while Maia Hudson will be a kitten.
Full steam ahead with rehearsals from now on until opening night on December 13, running through until December 23.
There will be eight shows, four evening (two Thursdays and two Fridays) and four matinees on two Saturdays and Sundays.
A Christmas panto is always popular and bound to bring a smile to all faces, young and old.
Playing for laughs — the pantomime cast get serious about jokes.