Monday, 21 December 2020

REVIEW: D!CK The Adult Panto at the Guildford Fringe (Online)

In a year full of uncertainty, one thing you can be certain of is that the Guildford Fringe production of ‘D!CK the Adult Panto’ will leave no innuendo unspoken.

Without doubt the most obvious choice for an adult pantomime but writers James Chalmers, Nick Wyschna and Charlotte Bateup do step up to the plate by adding plenty of risqué comedy and on the line humour that is perfectly relevant for 2020. 

The witty one-liners, political quips and ingeniously raunchy references are perfectly questionable and there’s much more than dick jokes alone. 

The musical choices throughout provided some old school nostalgia with both musical and pop numbers from the last 3 decades. The lyrical rewrites are clever and imaginative but be prepared to never hear those songs in the same way again.

The writing is by far the stand out element of this show as the staging and surroundings do let it down, even for a fringe production. 

There’s no denying the show could use a facelift and some more spectacle but the cast do the best they can given the small space and minimal prop/costume options available to them. Paul Toulson showed great promise as a classic dame, Olivia Rooks was an enjoyable northern Queen Rat and southern Fairy Big Bells and Rachel Warrick-Clarke is clearly confident as the fiercely independent Fanny. 

It was, however, Jack Marshall who carried the performance for the company with his strong vocals alongside his charming yet innocent portrayal of Dick. An actor who will undoubtedly go on to play many a Prince Charming in the future. 

Watching from my living room due to the ever-changing restrictions, the stream set up was simple and easy to follow but it did come with quality issues. Sound levels were erratic and the image wasn’t always in harmony with the audio which was a shame. The filming was dark and unaided by the consistently moody lighting and poorly placed effects which made it difficult to see facial expressions.

I must applaud the company for getting the show on at all and then adapting to ensure they deliver to their audiences. The technical hiccups of the streamed show can be forgiven when reminded of the circumstances. 

If you’re looking for some below the belt humour and a few laughs then this wouldn’t be a bad choice in the current climate. It is abundantly clear, however, that this type of production thrives off of its audience and so I expect my review would differ had I have been in the venue itself.

Review by Alyssa Tuck

Rating: ★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £19.50 per household


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