Jim Davidson may be credited with inventing
the adult panto (as early as 1999 with
Dick! is ultimately a self-knowing parody of the panto, leaving no stone of the genre unturned, urinated on and generally abused with a sex toy.
Villainous Queen Runt (Lucy Grainger) is plotting to gentrify the sleazy village of S’HoHo, filling it with corporate tax-dodging chain stores including her very own coffee shop, the Crusty Bean - and she won't rest until it's been on everyones lips. She’s already swindled Madame NoHo’s out of town and all that stands in her way is Sofonda Cox (Dusty ‘O’), owner of the famous sex club, Fitznicely. Beginning to recognise the story yet? Our randy hero Dick (Rhys Owen) arrives with his companion Dave the Cat (Rae Brogan) instantly falling for Sofonda’s buxom niece, Alice (Rachael Born). Overseeing the lewd proceedings, Fairy Bell-End (Paula Masterton) does her best to give them a happy ending, but even she’ll admit this is her first Fairying gig, so she’s a bit shit.
Whilst the majority of adult pantos are playing in rooms above pubs, fringe studios or just one-offs from the cast of an existing family show, Leicester Square’s Dick! has been given significant enlargement this year – moving to the 400-seater main space for the entire run. Whilst Dick!’s new girth may be sizable, it’s lost none of the charm. There’s obvious extra budget in the lighting, set and pyrotechnics, but returning punters will still get a good dose of the depraved humour they’ve come to expect including perennial favourites Hot, Wet Pussy and If I Where Not Upon The Stage. Oh yes, and “Fuck off, Dave” is still ever present.
The swelling of Dick! means this year we have the benefit of ensemble dancers Louise Douglas and Travis Sumner. Both spend much of their time in skin-tight shiny garb – so regardless of your sexual preference – there’s plenty of eye candy on display. Choreography by Dalh Haynes (and the larger stage on which to perform) adds grand production numbers you’re unlikely to see from the competition. Dick! just keeps getting bigger.
Saint’s sinful script is a fast, foul-mouthed tongue twister, like Urban Dictionary: The Musical. Characters rattle off inventive expletives at such high speed the audience is still gasping in hysterical disbelief just as another reference like “Put my Baloney Pony in your Quimnasium” is bouncing around the auditorium. Your mother’s pantomime this is not, unless your mother is adept at pole dancing, perhaps.
Dick! is ultimately a self-knowing parody of the panto, leaving no stone of the genre unturned, urinated on and generally abused with a sex toy. If you’ve been broad minded enough to get this far in this review, you’ll love it.