A magical night

SPECTACULAR, that s this year s pantomime, Dick Whittington at The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, and one not to be missed! Starring was the superb Sheila Ferguson, the former Three Degrees singer, as Fairy Bow Bells, a Cockney real tough cookie with

SPECTACULAR, that's this year's pantomime, Dick Whittington at The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, and one not to be missed!

Starring was the superb Sheila Ferguson, the former Three Degrees singer, as Fairy Bow Bells, a "Cockney" real tough cookie with a heart of gold, determined to see Dick Whittington overcome his bad luck and succeed to become Lord Mayor of London.

Her dynamic personality had the audience eating out of her hands as soon as she stepped on to the stage. It was magic.

Gorgeous Stefan Booth, ex-Hollyoaks hunk and Dancing on Ice star, who played Dick, also set hearts racing. Accompanying him on his journey was Tommy the Cat, successfully portrayed by an athletic Andrew Holloway. His vociferous meowing and expressive face soon had us all laughing as we purred along.


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The fantastic Paul Laidlaw, as Sarah the cook, and Lloyd Hollett, as her son Idle Jack, were a great team complementing each other perfectly. "Sarah" fluttered her lashes and paraded in fancy outfits and hairdos, casting out some delicious one-liners to the audience, whilst Jack had us all calling out his name whenever anyone approached his telephone. The children were smitten.

As if there wasn't enough to keep us laughing, Ben Roddy played the most adorable maniac, Captain Crabstick of The Good Ship Lollipop, Edwina the parrot perched upon his shoulder, and it was fowl! Boom, boom.

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The marvellous Scott St Martyn plays Alderman Fitzwarren, also the Sultan, with lovely Lynsey Britton as Alice his daughter.

Of course pantomime wouldn't be complete without a baddie and ours was an enormous King Rat brilliantly played by Jack Edwards. We booed, hissed and shouted until we were hoarse.

Dick and Alice find true love, his dream of becoming Lord Mayor is realised and everyone is happy. So was I.

There was enough innuendo and jokes for the adults, plenty of special effects (no laser beams) and lots of entertainment for the youngsters including the customary sweet-throwing and sing-along. The scenery, costumes and choreography were superb as were all the supporting cast and chorus.

One of the best pantomimes I've seen. On until February 3, 2007.

Maureen Millard

* Tickets for the panto are still on sale. Prices start at £11.50 and can be booked by calling the box office on: 08700 131 030 or by visiting www.gordon-craig.co.uk

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