CCT pantomime offers more than something for everyone

When Dick Whittington goes to Lon­don to seek his fortune, he dis­covers that the streets are not paved with gold.
Instead, they are full of trouble-makers.
Century Church Theatre is presenting the pantomime, Dick Whittington and His Cat, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, in what has become a Christmas tradi­tion in the community.
Pantomime is a mix of slap­stick comedy, song, and dance imported from England. It is a delight for children, but with a layer of humour that hits home with adults.
This version of the medi­eval story of Dick (played by Sam Russell) and his rat-catch­ing cat (Regan McLaughlin) is written and directed by Bev Nicholas.
He also plays the street-smart Arfur, who, with his sister, Mo (choreographer Jo Hubbard), hatch a scheme that sees Dick framed as a thief, separated from his new true love Alice (Lianne Ramsey) and kidnapped onto a ship bound for Africa.
The silliness is supple­mented by verbose shopkeeper Alderman Fitzwarren (John Rowe). His idle foreman, Jack (Conrad Wheildon), instructs the audience on the proper ways to participate.
Famous popular songs pro­vide the musical side of the fun, with numbers like Con­sider Yourself from Oliver, Lambeth Walk from Me and My Girl and Perry Como’s Catch a Falling Star.
Some may consider the op­portunity to see Century Church director Nick Holmes dressed as Sarah Saucepan, singing I Feel Pretty from West Side Story, to be worth the price of admission. But then again, tickets are only $10.
Equally eyebrow-raising will be the sight of Jeff Davi­s­on, Minister at Erin United Church, as the villainous King Rat (Raffia to his friends) – casting such evil spells (and bad puns) that the audience will undoubtedly break into spon­ta­neous booing.
Each of the acts features a sing-a-long for the kids, and everyone is likely to join in on the Oom-Pah-Pah beer drink­ing song in the Dirty Duck bar scene.
Rounding out the ensemble are the Town Crier (Tom Nielsen) and the bar­maids (Samantha Harrigan and Jennifer McLaughlin).
Raffia and his army of dancing rats (kids from the Ter­esa McMillan Dance Aca­demy) threaten to overrun the African island of Tongo, where the Lon­don crew has been ship­wrecked.
There the audience will find Sarah’s ex-husband King Cuthbert (Dale Jones), his chief wife and harem keeper Nagsalot (Carol McCone), and his nasty Prime Minister Lieslikel (Phil Gravelle).
The good guys manage to get away from the zombies (though audience members may not be so fortunate), rid the island of rats, repair the ship, and make it back to London, just in time for the big swordfight between Dick and Raffia.
Evening shows are Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7 and 8, starting at 7pm. Matinees are Dec. 1, 8, and 9, at 2pm.
The theatre is located on the west side of Main Street in Hills­burgh.
Tickets are $10, including tax, and are available with cash at The Erin Toybox, 110 Main Street, or Hillsburgh Library.
Tickets may also be purchased using VISA and by calling the box office at 519-855-4586.