AN EVIL rat is set on world domination – and only a man and his cat can stop it.
It’s all part of Roleystone Theatre’s end-of-year pantomime, Dick Whittington and His Cat, directed by Nicola Beard at Roleystone Hall.
As Dick Whittington ventures to London with his cat to find his fortune, become lord mayor and win the affections of Alice Fitzwarren, he is assisted by two fairies, local townsfolk and the Sultan of Morocco.
Set against him are the villainous King Rat and Jack, who is desperately in love with Alice himself.
Nicola said many adaptations Dick Whittington and His Cat had been made over the years.
“Richard Whittington was an actual English merchant born in 1354, who became Lord Mayor of London, served in parliament and was also the sheriff of London during his lifetime,” she said.
“When he died childless, he left a large sum of money in his will to many benefactors, which posthumously turned him into a folk hero.
“Because of this, a story about Dick Whittington, a poor Gloucester boy who travelled to London with his cat to seek his fortune, was created.”
The main challenge in staging the production, according to Nicola, is accommodating the 50-plus cast and crew in Roleystone Hall and its two small dressing rooms.
“But the cast and crew are incredibly motivated and excited to make this work and we will work around any challenges the location brings,” she said.
“We also have a good number of cast and crew that have never been involved in theatre before so my challenge is to teach them the basics while blocking the script and trying to ensure I keep it fun.”
Involved with Roleystone Theatre since 1993 in many aspects of production, Dick Whittington and His Cat marks Nicola’s return to directing after a 10-year hiatus.
“When I was 15, I was cast as the fairy in a different Roleystone Theatre production of Dick Whittington and His Cat,” she said.
“While this version has been modernised and is slightly different, the previous show ignited my love for comedic pantomime.
“When I was asked to direct a show that would show the community how much fun musical theatre could be, I knew a pantomime was the best choice.”
Dick Whittington and His Cat plays at 7.30pm December 7, 13 and 14; 2pm December 7 and 14 and 11am December 15. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BGCJO.
Roleystone Hall is at 44 Jarrah Road (corner of Wygonda Road), Roleystone.