The cat is back

Dick WhittingtonNew Year at Christchurch’s Regent Centre sees award-winning Highcliffe Charity Players back once more with their much-anticipated annual pantomime. This year it is the exciting rags-to-riches adventure of Dick Whittington and his Cat – a panto they haven’t staged for over a decade. There are ten performances over the week-long run (13-20 January), including three matinées, a mid-morning and a teatime show. Tickets are £10.50-£12.50 and, as usual, profits will go to local charities.

The traditional story sees penniless Dick journey to London with his cat, Tommy, to seek fame and fortune. He falls in love with Alice Fitzwarren, the Alderman’s daughter, and is confronted by the villainous King Rat. Forced to flee on the high seas with a motley crew, Dick is eventually washed up on the rat-infested shores of Arabia. Good triumphs over evil as, with the help of his faithful Tommy, Dick defeats King Rat and his vermin army and makes it back to London, to win the hand of Alice and the high office of Lord Mayor of London.

This is classic panto at its finest, with HCP’s renowned formula of great sets, spectacular costumes and lively song and dance routines, combined with the usual quota of slapstick comedy and audience participation. (Oh yes you will!)