Home > News > Archive > 12th April 2001

Dick Whittington

Te Awamutu Light Operatic Society performed the original English pantomime "Dick Whittington" from 30th March until 14th April 2001 at the Woolshed Theatre. The show was directed by David O'Brien and Fiona Miller, with choreography by Gailene Foster.

The show is a lively comedy in the true tradition of pantomime, with plenty of singing, dancing, slapstick routines and audience participation. At almost 3 hours, it's a marathon effort by all involved.

Despite a few vocal hiccoughs, there were plenty of memorable performances. In particular, David Artis (Alderman Fitzwarren) and John Stewart (Sarah the Cook) won the crowd over. Ruth Love (Tommy the Cat) also delivered a very entertaining act with no speaking but plenty of expression.

Alderman, Tommy, Dick, Sarah, Jack and Alice
Alderman, Tommy, Dick, Sarah, Jack and Alice

Dancers and Chorus
Dancers and Chorus

Tommy and DickAlice
Tommy, Dick and Alice

The Captain, Jack and the Mate
The Captain, Jack and the Mate

Fairy BowbelleFairy Discord
Fairy Bowbelle and Fairy Discord

Alderman and Sarah
Alderman and Sarah

"Fairy Tales"

Fairy tales stir the imagination of many of us, and it does not take much effort to portray a life in Fantasy Land on stage before you.
Original English Pantomime expels most inhibitions one has and both parents and children make full involvement with 'Panto' something special.
TALOS enjoys stirring the imagination of our patrons in this "Fantasy World" and is truly indebted to the Directing talents of David, Fiona and Gailene, and all the other people who have dedicated their time and worked so hard in bringing this production to you in the Woolshed Theatre.
We trust you will enjoy our interpretation of this classic Pantomime and thank you for your patronage.
We look forward to having your company at the Woolshed Theatre for our future productions later in the year.
Sit back......... strike the lights............ raise the curtain.............
(let's be entertained)

Ray Spence


The legend of "Dick Whittington" dates back to the 13th Century, when a certain Richard Whittington Esquire served three terms as Lord Mayor of London. Nothing very much is known about him except that, in a portrait of him that hangs in London's Mansion House, there is a cat sitting on his lap! Whether or not he ever owned such an animal is a matter of conjecture, as are any other details about his life.
But this is pantomime, and reality has no place here. This is a world where dull, everyday fact and logic have no place, where men dress as women, where everyone keeps breaking into song and, most importantly, where everyone lives happily ever after.
We've all had tremendous fun preparing this show, we just hope that you will enjoy it as much as we did.
So come with us now back to old London Town, and meet Dick Whittington, his cat, and all the other extraordinary characters that can only exist in the magical world of Pantomime.

David, Fiona, Gailene

The Company
Fairy Bowbelle...... ......Freda Cavandar
Fairy Discord...... ......Fiona Rippey
Dick Whittington...... ......Morgan Samuel
Tommy the Cat...... ......Ruth Love
Alice Fitzwarren...... ......Kim Barclay
Jack...... ......Scott McGill
Alderman Fitzwarren...... ......David Artis
The Captain...... ......Peter Monk
The Mate...... ......Greg Hack
Sarah the Cook...... ......John Stewart
King Rat...... ......Matt Lawry
Chief...... ......David Epplett
Heather McGill Michaela Biddick
Heather Roach Gabby Glynan
Tina Biddick Genevra Carr
Jennifer Taylor Michelle Gillard Hugh McKay
Laura Dolby Natalie Clark Brogan Hollobon
Laura Rumbles Emma Verstappen Brooke Rako
Kate Ward Charlotte Verstappen Haley McMahon
Gemma Ward Alyssa-Jayne Foster Gail Boddie
Aurora Epplett Reneé Foster Hadleigh Tiddy
David O'Brien - Piano
Denise Hudson - Bass
Norm Maynard - Percussion
Production Team
Directors: David O'Brien & Fiona Miller
Musical Director: David O'Brien
Choeographer: Gailene Foster
Production Manager: Ray Spence
Production Secretary: Vicki Purves
Stage Manager: Rex McGill
Set Design & Construction: John Stewart
Set Painting: Jaqui Blake, Michelle Bocock
Wardrobe: Heather McKenzie, Raewyn Hoskin
Promt: Tammy Warwick
Properties: David Petchey
Stage Crew: Rex McGill, Rex Brown, Ken Miller, John Statham, Tony Bryant, Jessie Monk, Linda Rumbles, Fay Bryant, Peter Drysdale
Lighting & Sound: Grant Purves, Vicki Purves, David Monk
Front of House: Ray Spence with members/friends of TALOS helping