Last week, Emma and I travelled to Eastbourne to see the Dick Whittington & His Cat pantomime, Emma’s first experience of a panto and only her second time at the theatre. I always love visiting Eastbourne and although the journey is a little longer for us at about 45-50 minutes in the car, it never fails to disappoint with its beautiful beaches and gorgeous fish and chip restaurants.
Dick Whittington & His Cat is run by Eastbourne Theatres and shown at the Devonshire Park Theatre, just off the seafront. After a little look on their website, I saw that Todd Carty from Eastenders was one of the lead characters and I got a good sense that we’d be in for a good performance. I wasn’t sure what Emma would make of it though, but lately she laughs along when others find something funny, regardless if she has understood the joke or not!
As we arrived in Eastbourne, we headed to the theatre and even though we were a little late arriving – my sense of direction letting me down once again – the concierge were so welcoming and took the buggy straight away and showed us to our seats. We were also given a programme and vouchers for an ice-cream at the interval, which I thought was really kind. Our seats were in row F in the stalls, but unknowingly being late and having to sit a bit behind with more space was a blessing as Emma didn’t feel constrained.
I haven’t been to a pantomime since I was a young child so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I found the show engaging and funny with brilliant humour throughout, some of which was aimed at the adults so everyone enjoyed it! The actress playing Dick Whittington was brilliant, as well as Todd Carty as the evil rat stole the show for me. It was so enjoyable and I was singing along to the songs – a good mixture of well-known pop songs and others I didn’t know.
With a toddler of Emma’s age, the length of the performance was a bit of a struggle at 2 hours 45 minutes including the interbal. However I could see from the audience that children aged 5-6 years old would be the perfect age for this type of show and it didn’t detract from how much we enjoyed it at all! Emma had a fantastic time and her favourite bit was when they all went overboard and fishies and a giant octopus appeared on a screen on stage. Even on the way home, she asked to see the fishies again!
The theatre itself was a small and beautiful old theatre – it was brilliant to see so many of the original theatre decor had remained and it felt like a really special thing to do together. Emma has only been to the theatre once before but I can see she loves it already. I have always been a fan of musicals and I’m interested to see if she will love them as much as I did. While we were there, I recorded a little video of our day, which I have copied below so you can see but it’s a big thumbs up for us and a tradition I’d love to continue every Christmas from now on.
Disclaimer: We were given two complimentary tickets to Dick Whittington and His Cat, a programme and ice-cream vouchers for the purpose of this review. All views, words and opinions are my own.