Bryce Manning’s winning Wembley Theatre Company formula continues with Whittington

Actors Mirela Ionascu (East Victoria Park), director Bryce Manning (Wembley) and Ruth Burke (Wembley Downs). Picture: Martin Kennealey d444318
Actors Mirela Ionascu (East Victoria Park), director Bryce Manning (Wembley) and Ruth Burke (Wembley Downs). Picture: Martin Kennealey d444318

WEMBLEY Theatre Company director Bryce Manning’s philosophy is to stick with a winning formula and he found it in 1995 with the pantomime adaptations of Tony Nicholls.

“We have six of the best pantomimes, all written by Tony Nicholls that we do in a cycle,” Manning said.

“We began with The Adventures of Dick Whittington and his Cat in 1998 and in 2015 its time to do it again.”

Featuring a cast of 15 ranging in age from 12 to 60, The Adventures of Dick Whittington and his Cat is a classic panto where Manning said the audience enjoyed an easy to understand storyline full of adventures, songs, role reversals and humour.

“The lovers, the baddies, the heroes, the idiots are all there and taken straight from the centuries old Commedia dell’arte,” he said.

“I like the pace that Tony incorporates in his work; his sense of timing with the humour is spot on and he envelopes the audience, young and old, in a world of magic for two hours.

“It is just a simple nursery time story but everyone is glued to the stage to see what will happen next.”

The Adventures of Dick Whittington and his Cat follows the tale of Whittington who travels to London to become Lord Mayor.

He is helped by The Cat during his rocky travels and falls in love with Alice Fitzwarren.

“Dick is an honest soul seeking to make his fortune in London but there is so much more to him,” Manning said.

Manning will perform again this year in the role of King Rat, which he described as “the baddest of the baddies so I anticipate lots of booing and hissing”.

He said he hoped audiences walked away with a big smile and the understanding not to take life too seriously.

“Watching a panto is a great way for the family to enjoy theatre together,” Manning said.

“To share an experience that makes everyone smile and feel happy.”

In another Wembley Theatre tradition, The Adventures of Dick Whittington and his Cat will tour regionally this year to York and Kulin.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: The Adventures of Dick Whittington and his Cat

Where: Wembley Community Centre

When: October 16 to 31

Tickets: www.trybooking.com/159564