Are you back for more Dick, or are you inexperienced in these areas? Of course I’m referring to the madcap world of adult panto at the Leicester Square Theatre. Brought to us a second year by the High Priest of Smut, Mr Stuart Saint – Dick! Comes Again: Bigger, Longer, Harder! matches its predecessor for bawdy humour and sheer dick-witted-ness.
Little did she know – that poor audience member – by choosing to sit on that particular chair she was setting herself up for a full evening of come-ons and put downs from the cast, culminating in her being left holding a 14” sex toy. The actors felt at home riffing off the script at anyone and everyone’s expense, and some of their topical gags must have been exceedingly recent additions, judging by the scandalised laughter of the audience.
Dick! follows the broad plot outline of his name-sake Whittington, trundling off to London to seek fame and fortune with his pussy, Dave the Cat. Dick, played by Dave Bibby, and Dave, played by Nick Read, have developed a great comic double-act. Perhaps an unlikely pairing, Bibby’s Barry Scott-like laddishness was tempered by Read’s sultry Antonio Banderas. Cutting through the Christmas cheer like a sarcastic knife through fruit-cake was Miss Dusty ‘O’, ad-libbing liberally but managing to maintain her serenely humorous contempt for proceedings.
Laura Hyde’s return to the show, this year as the innocently ugly Alice Fitznicely, shows that you can achieve anything if you put in the hard twerk. Sparring throughout were Soho’s answer to Elphaba and Glinda – Queen Runt and Fairy Bell-End, played by Paula Masterson and Laura Curnick. The three girls gave a sassy rendition of a Streisand disco track, to the immense joy of my plus-one.
Audience members who grappled with Dick! last year won’t have many differences to spot in this new production, but this does nothing to deflate its proud achievement. Stuart Saint’s Dick! could keep me coming again and again.