We’re thrilled to announce the full cast for our and Le Navet Bete’s new family pantomime Dick Whittington, which runs at the Northcott from 30 November 2023 until 7 January 2024.Book Now
Elliot Coombe (The Mousetrap, St Martins Theatre (West End)) is the titular hero seeking friends and fortune; newcomer Poppy Joy plays his trusty feline companion Sox. Nick Bunt (Le Navet Bete, Robin Hood) is merchant Alderman Fitzwarren and Sophia Lewis (It Happened in Key West, Charing Cross Theatre) plays Fitzwarren’s plucky daughter Alice. Matthew Freeman (Le Navet Bete, Robin Hood) is Fitzwarren’s boisterous cook Sarah Suet, the lively panto dame; Al Dunn (Le Navet Bete, Robin Hood) plays the dame’s down-on-his-luck son Jack and doubles as a rodent villain opposite Stephanie Lysé’s (The Importance of Being Earnest, UK tour) riotous Queenie Rat. Completing the cast, South West actors Jodie Micciché (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Pantaloons) and Molly Cheesley (Jane Austen’s Emma, UK Tour) return to our theatre after their celebrated appearances in the Northcott and Le Navet Bete’s Robin Hood last year. Jodie plays dual roles as the spirited Fairy Bowbells and Captain Barnacle, and Molly plays ensemble roles alongside Andrew Dillon (The Wizard of Oz, Leicester Curve).
Scroll down below to get to know our cast a little better!
Dick Whittington is our second creative collaboration with Le Navet Bete, following the record-breaking success of Robin Hood, and adds another chapter to our long history of staging large-scale pantomimes, loved across the South West for bringing people together and providing many with their first theatre experience.
Our production is a hilarious new take on the classic folk tale, combining stunning costumes, spectacular sets and mesmerising song and dance routines to catapult audiences through a rollercoaster rags-to-riches ride filled with courage and camaraderie – both human and feline!
Dick Whittington is directed by acclaimed Exeter-born pantomime creator and UK Pantomime Association founding trustee Alex Jackson (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple). Alex developed a life-long passion for pantomime from watching Christmas performances at Exeter Northcott as a child.Read Our Exclusive Interview With Alex
I grew up watching pantomimes at the Northcott, and it’s been lovely to get to work with them as director for Dick Whittington. Le Navet Bete and I share the same sense of humour, and together with a cast of some of the finest talent the South West has to offer (and a few from further afield), the atmosphere on stage will be electric. We’re all working hard for this show to be the best it can be, so at every performance, children and adults alike can discover the brilliance of live theatre through our pantomime, like I did.
Alex Jackson, Director of Dick Whittington
The story is scripted by Robin Hood director Daniel Buckroyd and Le Navet Bete, and produced by Exeter Northcott’s creative team.
Our Dick Whittington treads the line between traditional panto, musical theatre and full on frying pan to the face slapstick comedy. Our writing process has been one of trying to modernise the story where we can, including the addition of a somewhat eccentric billionaire who has a large part to play in our story!
As with all our work, we are committing to the comedy being front and centre of the action. But we’re also choosing music that gives our actors a chance to show off their skills. So, audiences will not only fall off their seats laughing, but also have the hairs on the back of their neck stand up from the all fantastic singing!
Al Dunn, Co-Artistic Director of Le Navet Bete
Pantomime is at the heart of our theatre. It’s a chance for some of the South West’s best creatives to shine, and for the people of Exeter and Devon to experience a sprinkle of Christmas magic. Over the past few years, we’ve built an incredibly strong relationship with Le Navet Bete and have created wonderful memories for so many families, and we can’t wait to see what Alex will bring to this mix. Thank you also to our audiences’ generous support of our Pay It Forward campaign, through which we gift theatre tickets to young people and carers who would not otherwise be able to go, so even more people can join the fun this year.
Kelly Johnson, Development & Marketing Director and Interim Co-CEO at Exeter Northcott
Meet the cast
as Alderman Fitzwarren
Nick has been Co-Artistic Director and performer with physical comedy company Le Navet Bete since 2008. Born and raised in Australia, he has always loved acting and writing comedy and has performed in some of the most widely respected venues all over the UK and internationally. When not performing, Nick is a keen pianist and loves to travel.
Theatre credits include: Robin Hood (Exeter Northcott Theatre), Jane Austen’s Emma (UK Tour) and Golden Pearl Pirates (UK Tour). Molly is thrilled to be back at the Northcott after a fantastic production last year.
Training: Molly attended the London School of Musical Theatre (2022) and has a first-class degree in Music and Drama from Royal Holloway University.
Do you have a favourite pantomime memory?
“The audiences at the Northcott last year were so amazing- the first bow we did was really special, and everyone really enjoyed it!“
as Dick Whittington
Theatre credits include: Understudy Christopher Wren in The Mousetrap (St Martins Theatre, West End); Silly in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Milton Keynes Theatre/ XRoads Pantomimes); Fuzz (Workshop); Teletubbies Live! (UK and Ireland Tour)
Training: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Credits whilst training include: Made In Dagenham, The Clockmaker’s Daughter and The Pirates of Penzance.
What’s your favourite pantomime trope?
“It has to be a sketch that involves custard pies or free sweets thrown into the audience…anything that involves food really!“
Theatre credits include: Ensemble/Cover Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (Leicester Curve); Gilbert/First Cover Seaweed in Hairspray (UK tour); Rusalka (London Coliseum and English National Opera); Ensemble in Motown the Musical (UK and Ireland tour); Flashdance (Italian Tour); Diva in Testosterone (UK tour); Sneezy in Snow White & The Seven Dwarves (Darlington Hippodrome) and Tommy Tucker in Red Riding Hood (Hoxton Hall).
Training: The Urdang Academy & The BRIT School
as Jack & Rat Villain
Al is one of the founding members of Le Navet Bete and still performs with the company in their various shows, particular favourite roles have been Long John Silver in Treasure Island and The Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol.
In his spare time Al is a keen pizzaiolo (pizza chef) cooking away in his wood fire oven.
as Sarah Suet
Matt has been with Le Navet Bete since the beginning.
Matt has always had a passion for comedy and is hugely proud of the extensive back catalogue of work that Le Navet Bete have written and produced over the years, a particular career high was the publication and international licensing of Dracula: The Bloody Truth. He has always loved to dress up in women’s clothing and the roles he takes on within Le Navet Bete work clearly displays this.
When he is not making the masses fall apart with laughter he is growing organic vegetables on his allotment.
as Sox the Cat
Training: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Credits whilst training include: Carrie (Miss Gardener); Merrily We Roll Along (Jerome); Kipps: Half a Sixpence (Carshot/Maxwell); Madagascar Jr (Melman).
Dick Whittington is Poppy’s professional debut!
What does pantomime mean to you?
“For me, Panto is all about play and silliness and proper fun! It’s a super exciting way to get kids and families into the world of theatre, while having a rather excellent time doing so.”
as Alice Fitzwarren
Theatre credits include: Lucille in The Great Gatsby (Immersive London), Harlow Hayes in Around the World in 80 Days (Grand Theatre, Blackpool), Natasha in Zombies the Musical (The Other Palace, Studio), Roza in Glasgow Girls (UK & Scottish Tours), Nana in It Happened in Key West (Charing Cross Theatre), U/s Sarah, u/s Mayor, u/s Black Dude in Toxic Avenger (West End / Edinburgh), Nikita in Bollywood Rose (British Asian Festival/Watford Palace Theatre).
Training: London School of Musical Theatre.
Why is pantomime important?
“It’s a time where friends and family can come together to experience theatre in a wholesome way and for some, it’s a wonderful gateway into the world of theatre. Many have their first ever theatrical experience at their local pantomime!“
as Queenie Rat
Theatre credits include: Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest (UK tour); Bianca in Othello (UK tour); Judy in Bird Brigade (Workshop); Baby Bear in Baby Bear (UK Tour); Rosie/Mum/Wolf in The Snow Dragon (UK Tour); Time Agent in Future Perfect (UK Tour); Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance (UK Tour); Mrs Beaver in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (UAE tour); Shoshana in Island Song (Tristan Bates Theatre); Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast (Radlett Centre); Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk (Groundlings Theatre).
Training: The Royal Academy of Music and University of Exeter.
Have you performed at the Northcott before?
“I have! I performed Thoroughly Modern Millie with the Exeter University Footlights Society in 2012. I was also Vocal Coach for the Footlights Northcott production of Copacabana in 2013.”
as Fairy Bowbells & Captain Barnacle
Theatre credits include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (The Pantaloons); Robin Hood (Exeter Northcott); Alice in Wonderland (Folksy Theatre); Great Expectations (The Pataloons), The Little Match Girl (Folksy Theatre); The Tempest (Folksy Theatre); Twelfth Night (The Pantaloons); Sleeping Beauty (Wisecracker/Rhodes Arts Complex); Pinocchio (Torch Theatre).
She is delighted to be returning to Exeter Northcott for Dick Whittington.
Training: Jodie graduated from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with an MA in Musical Theatre, and from LIPA with a BA in Acting.
Do you have a favourite pantomime memory?
“Singing Auld Lang Syne with the Robin Hood New Year’s Eve audience last year was a very special moment. Everyone came together and held hands and mumbled through the words that no one really knows. It was brilliant.”
HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS CHRISTMAS
Every year, we partner with local charities to gift theatre tickets to young people and carers who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to enjoy a show. With your support, we raised £12,000 and gave away 750 tickets last year. This year, we’re hoping to spread the joy of panto with even more people.
Donate to our Pay It Forward campaign and change someone’s life today!
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