Dick Whittington National Tour Tickets
The Dick Whittington National tour is a production of the famous tale of one of the medieval Lord Mayors of London. Usually referred to as Dick Whittington and His Cat, the folklore story has become intertwined with many of the pantomime traditions that are so loved by younger theatregoers. However, the staging of the Dick Whittington story dates back much further than the modern pantos that are presented all over the country. The story has even been presented on Broadway in New York before, for example, when a musical version was staged in 1871 by William H Brinkworth. These days, the familiar tale is commonly given a local twist, depending on the theatre that is hosting the production. The pantomime version of Dick Whittington has been staged at the world-famous London Palladium many times, a theatre to which the story returns on a semi-regular basis.
Dick Whittington National Tour's history
Although Dick Whittington and His Cat tends to be rewritten for the pantomime season each year so that jokes and topical allusions can remain contemporary, touring productions using largely the same script have been successful in the past. The rags-to-riches story has some universal elements that bear retelling, and early versions of the tale can be found in old ballads that would have been sung by touring musicians. According to the renowned diarist, Samuel Pepys, Dick Whittington and His Cat was seen in and around Covent Garden in London, being performed by puppeteers in the late 1660s.
One of the earliest incarnations of Dick Whittington on the theatrical stage was not as a pantomime but as an opera. For example, an operatic version of it penned by Samuel Davey was staged at the Theatre in Smock Alley, located in Dublin, in 1739. The story continued to gain popularity throughout the 19th century, which came to a culmination towards the end of the 1890s, when it was put on more than once at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. A 1909 version of the play took the story to Liverpool after the turn of the century, at the Shakespeare Theatre.
In 1910, Dick Whittington returned to the London stage when Kathleen Gray took the title role in a production that was held at the King's Theatre in Hammersmith. By 1923, the first of the London Palladium's stagings of the story had taken place, with Fred Whittaker taking on the role of Whittington's feline companion.
Among the earliest pantomime versions of the story was an 1877 version, which began on Christmas Eve of that year. Frank Green wrote it with music by Sidney Davis. This production was given the sub-title of Harlequin Beau Bell, Gog and Magog, and the Rats of Rat Castle.
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