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Dick Whittington (Lyceum Sheffield)

Sheffield Theatres' seasonal offering delivers a "roller-coaster ride of laughter and silliness"

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Having seen last year's pantomime offering of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,' I didn't think that this year's festive family show could exceed my expectations.

The Company of Dick Whittington at the Lyceum Sheffield
© Robert Day

However, Dick Whittington was everything I dreamed of and more. As ever, Damian Williams' Dolly the Cook was my absolute favourite aspect; his dry, sarcastic humour, hilarious movement and comedic facial expressions ensure that he truly does steal the show.

Eastenders' favourite Samantha Womack adds a touch of glamour in the form of Fairy Bow-Bells, cracking jokes at Northern accents and way of life, whilst CBeebies star Andy Day entertains the younger audience in his comedic role as Captain Crabstick.

In his quest to defeat the evil King Rat, Dick Whittington and co set off in a heroic mission with the aid of Tommy the cat. Whittington's goal is to become the Mayor of London, and to become – as the sung narrative frequently mentions – astonishing.

Featuring chart hits such as Pharell's ‘Happy,'and Taylor Swift's ‘Shake it Off,' with the audience encouraged to clap and sing along, there is something for everyone. Innuendo jokes for the parents, chart music for the elder siblings, and interactive sections with classic retorts such as ‘It's behind you!' for the youngest of the audience.

Last year's show was sponsored by a famous local ice-cream company, whilst this year's production is supported by a local rail provider. Dolly the Cook boasts of travelling with the train network whilst wearing a train in order to travel by rail. Also, by sheer coincidence, Williams introduced a train driver in the audience called Richard (Dick) Whittington who works for the network.

For me, Christmas starts when I have been to the Lyceum Pantomime, and this year was no exception. For a quick and thoroughly entertaining dose of festive cheer, visit Damian Williams and pals as soon as you can for an invigorating, colourful roller-coaster ride of laughter and silliness.

Dick Whittington runs at the Lyceum Sheffield until 4 January 2015.