Let me start by suggesting that people of a nervous disposition need not read this review, since you sure as anything won’t enjoy the show. Click away, indignant ones, and read a review of Scrooge. The rest of us are ready to revel in this particular Yuletide offering with all its whory glory. Dick! may not be to everybody’s taste, but if you relax into it you’ll find it gives your diaphragm quite a workout.
You may have guessed from its title that this is not a show for children. The set further reinforces that idea – decorated as it is by sparkly festive semen. Dick! takes us through the familiar territory of Dick Whittington’s rags-to-riches journey to London, but distorts its tale through the feverishly sexualised mind of writer/director Stuart Saint. Our well-endowed protagonist Dick! is led by his codpiece into the murky world of a Sohoho nightclub with his trusty pussy, Dave. Here they meet the proprietress Sofonda Cox and her ravishingly urban relative Alice. Pitted against the evil diva Queen Runt but aided by the lovable Fairy Bell-End, will our plucky collective be able to find the treasure, unlock Alice’s chastity belt and pun their way to victory? Journalistic integrity requires me to redact the ending. Safe to say, it’s climactic.
The small but tight-knit cast deserve commendations all-round, for stellar individual performances and for the bizarrely familial ensemble they have formed. Gary Albert Hughes’ Dick! managed to maintain a sense of swarthy grace even as he manhandled his imaginary hose. Rae Brogan’s Alice balanced Disney-esque innocence with bawdy Brixton-isms to create a character of infinite nuance and smut. Dave ‘Fuck-off-Dave’ the Cat, played by Nathaniel Tapley, lent a debonair sophistication to proceedings. Laura Hyde as Fairy Bell-End destroyed all the debonair sophistication with one charmingly-Northern swish of her magic bosom. Seductive and sultry Lucyelle Cliffe’s evil Queen Runt menaced us through her various campy disguises, and she did well to keep her profound sexiness even when dressed as a tree. Our matronly dame Sofonda Cox was played by Miss Dusty O, whose voice and eyebrows fell three octaves between set-up and punch-line. Her fabulous costumes had more than a whiff of Liza, and she dealt us press-night hacks a few blows with effortless ad-libs.
The most shocking thing of the night for me was the high quality of vocal talent from the group – I was certainly not expecting the two sensational belters that were Hyde and Cliffe. I enjoyed myself (music geek that I am) spotting the songs they’d lovingly repurposed – a particular favourite being the dramatic piano sting made from Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’.
It has more pussy than The Lion King, more cock than The History Boys’ after-party, and I was wetter than that time I was front-row at Singin’ in the Rain. What do we like, boys and girls? Dick!