Following a magical production of Cinderella last year, Qdos Productions has returned to The Bristol Hippodrome this December with the ultimate tale of rags to riches, Dick Whittington. Starring soap-legend and musical theatre favourite Shane Ritchie in the titular role and CBeebies favourite Jennie Dale as the villain Queen Rat.

I was blown away by the incredible set, costumes and special effects, which have been brought over from the acclaimed production at the London Palladium in 2017. You are in for a real treat for the senses!

Keeping it fresh, they’ve devised a new script for the Bristol production and as you would expect from a pantomime it’s laughs a plenty. There’s something there that will tickle everyone, whether you are eight or eighty.

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Photo: Ensemble cast and set - credit Dave Betts Photography

Shane Ritchie stars as ‘Dick’ and yes there were ample opportunities throughout for some good old-fashioned innuendo there, but it was all in good taste and did raise lots of chuckles. Shane himself has an easy, approachable manner with the audience and had us eating out the palm of his hand.

I particularly enjoyed the scenes with interaction between Shane Ritchie and Peter Piper’s Captain Cockles, especially the brilliant tongue-twister scene, the underwater version of A Partridge in a Pear Tree and the simple but wonderful scene with song lyrics that had me howling.

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Photo: Shane Ritchie as Dick Whittington and Peper Piper as Captain Cockles - credit Dave Betts Photography

Jennie Dale was wickedly good as Queen Rat and her mischief of rats were pretty scary! The rest of the cast were great too with David O'Reilly playing the traditional pantomime dame 'Sarah the Cook' Christine Tucker as Alice Fitzwarren, Blair Cameron as Kitty Cat and Shona White as Spirit of Bow Bells.

Read our interview with Shane Ritchie and Jennie Dale and get their take on performing in Dick Whittington in Bristol here

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Photo: The Acromaniacs as The Ship’s Crew- credit Dave Betts Photography

As well as all the laughs, this pantomime packs some pretty big punches for singing, dancing and movement. The ensemble cast and the ‘babes’ of The Bristol School of Dancing were excellent and so slick. The songs were enjoyable and I especially loved the whole acrobatics scene with the Acromaniacs as The Ship’s Crew flipping, leaping, twirling and jumping to the delight of us all.

It was brilliant fun and got me perfectly into the Christmas mood. This is a pantomime with something for all the family and I dare you not to come out without a grin on your face.

Dick Whittington runs at The Bristol Hippodrome twice a day, for a matinee and evening performance, every day Monday – Sunday (excluding Monday 16 and Thursday 19 December, Christmas Day and New Years Day) up to and including Sunday 5 January. 

There are also special performances during the run including a sign language performance, captioned performance, audio described performance and a relaxed performance.

Find out more here and buy tickets here

Find out what else is on at the theatre in Bristol

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Dick Whittington at Bristol Hippodrome
Christmas
Dick Whittington at Bristol Hippodrome

The ultimate rags to riches story comes to Bristol Hippodrome this Christmas in the magical family pantomime Dick Whittington, led by soap-sensation and musical theatre star Shane Richie.

The Bristol Hippodrome
Theatre
Bristol Hippodrome theatre inside

One of the country's top provincial theatres, which proudly continues to stage major West End and Broadway productions.