The Pompey Panto, Dick Whittington to make a return to The Kings Theatre this summer

The show must go on! Even if it means taking a lockdown-enforced seven-month break.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 9:14 am
The ensemble in Dick Whittington at The Kings Theatre, Southsea, 2020. Picture by Andrew Searle
The ensemble in Dick Whittington at The Kings Theatre, Southsea, 2020. Picture by Andrew Searle

Dick Whittington is returning to The Kings Theatre, for its first ever summer pantomime.

The cast from last Christmas's show will be back at the Southsea venue from from Friday, July 23 until Sunday, August 8.

After a promising start, The Pompey Panto had to cut things short just 11 days into its original run last December as Covid numbers soared in the winter spike.

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With theatres now on track to reopen as part of the government’s roadmap for recovery, everything is set for a triumphant return.

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The traditional pantomime will once again feature local favourites including X Factor finalist and one half of Same Difference, Sean Smith in the title role alongside Jack Edwards as Dame Dolly, James Percy as Silly Billy, Julia Worsley as the evil Queen Rat, Peter McCrohon as Alderman Fitzwarren, and Tara Holland as Alice Fitzwarren.

With a stellar cast, the same incredible sets and costumes, magical dance numbers, fabulous singing alongside non-stop gags it’s the perfect family event to celebrate the arts and the talent in the city.

Sean Smith as Dick Whittington and Billie-Leigh Roberts as Cat. Picture by Andrew Searle

The News’ review described it at the time as ‘the perfect slice of silly escapism for right now.’

Although The Kings has put on touring Easter pantomimes in the past, most recently starring Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee in 2014 – this will be the first time they will have produced a summer panto.

Paul Woolf, Kings Theatre’s CEO said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to announce the relaunch of our amazing Pompey Panto – Dick Whittington, with our fabulous cast and creative team.

Julia Worsley as Queen Rat. Picture by Andrew Searle

‘It felt like unfinished business closing so abruptly and with over 11,000 people booked to see the show during the rest of the run.

‘Putting the panto back on really draws a line under what we have all been through in the last year. Come and join us for what will be an amazing fun-filled family party.’

Jack Edwards, Dame Dolly and The Kings Theatre’s creative director added: ‘It was such a privilege to be part of the show last year and I’m thrilled that we are able to get everyone back together to perform again.

‘The magic of pantomime is something which can be enjoyed all year round and I can’t wait to be back on the stage – although I’m slightly dreading the quick costume changes in warmer weather!’

Tickets are on general sale from Thursday, March 4, at kingsportsmouth.co.uk/dickwhittington.