A yearly institution over the last decade, the RVT panto is coming to Marylebone, re-erecting last year’s Charming Dick to please the masses once again. This X-rated panto sees Dick coming to London to seek fame, fortune and the big time, but instead ending up working in a launderette with his Aunt Twankey (silent T), a has-been cabaret and West End star (well, who isn’t). But the Wicked Witch (Matthew Floyd Jones of Frisky & Mannish) is determined to get her evil hands on the launderette and steal poor Twanky’s magic lamp, which can turn gay bars into gold, whilst the Witch’s sexually confused son Prince Charming is being pursued by Eurovision wannabe Babe.
Will Dick become the big bar promoter he wants to be? Will Twankey lose the launderette? Will Charming and Dick ever build that snowman together? And why is Red Riding Hood in this panto?
This rip-roaring adult panto from the RVT is filled with classic (and non-classic) panto naughtiness, hissing, booing and enough song and dance to make Eurovision look positively hetero. Charming Dick debuted at the RVT in 2015, and transfers by popular demand to the Cockpit Theatre for Christmas 2016.
The RVT panto has become a yearly institution over the last 10 years with a string of distinguished cabaret stars such as Scottee, Mzz Kimberley, Holestar, Jonny Woo, Timberlina, Fred Bear, Dusty Limits, Ophelia Bitz, Fancy Chance, Harry Clayton Wright, Topsie Redfern and Vinegar Strokes. Previous pantos include Jack! Sissy that Stalk!, The Little Orphaned Fannie, Snow White and the Three Bears, and Scallyladin.
The RVT is an iconic name in the LGBTQ and cabaret communities. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern was built in 1863 on land which was originally part of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, and is believed to have started life as a Victorian music hall. After the Second World War, returning servicemen and local gay men were attracted to the venue and their drag shows. By the 70s the venue was well established in the scene and hosted regular drag performaces, allegedly even being visited one night by Kenny Everett, Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana (immortalized in the show). On 8 September 2015 the RVT was made a Grade II listed building – the first building to be listed in recognition of its importance to LGBT community history. The freehold of the building is presently on the market and the future of the site is unclear, but currently stable, the RVT remains strong as an organization and producer of live arts and is ready to adapt to whatever the future holds.
￼Cast includes: Dick (Ali Frederick), The Witch (Matthew Floyd Jones), Babe (Abigail Collins). Charming (Stewart Briggs) and Twankey (Tim McArthur).
The Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth Street, London NW8 8EH
6 – 23 December 2016