Dick Whittington

Lindsey Rural Players Annual Pantomime

24th, 25th, 26th & 31st January. 1st, 2nd, 7th & 8th February 2020
Directed by Marcus Holland – Written by Ben Crocker

The first recorded pantomime version of the story was in 1814, starring Joseph Grimaldi as Dame Cicely Suet, the Cook.

Dick’s cat has been given the names Thomas, Tommy, Tommy Tittlemouse (1890), or Mouser (1908) and so forth.

The pantomime has introduced an arch villain, King Rat (or the King of Rats), as well as the usual pantomime fairy, the Fairy of the Bells, personifying the London bells. An early record of King Rat and fairy occurs in an 1877 production at. This production pitches the archvillain King Rat against the, for whom the fairy Beau Bell serves as messenger. “King Rataplan (Rat-a-plan)” occurs even earlier, alongside “Queen Olivebranch” who assigns Cupid to uplift Dick Whittington from poverty, in a Charles Millward script for the Theatre Royal, Birmingham production of 1870.

In some versions, Dick and his cat Tommy travel to Morocco, where the cat rids the country of rats. The Sultan rewards Dick with half of his wealth.

The pantomime version remains popular today.

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