Dick Whittington : The Story
The Real Dick Whittington
Richard Whittington was born somewhere around 1350, legend has it at Pauntley Court in Gloucestershire. He was not, however, the penniless boy he is depicted in pantomime, but was in fact the son of an Alderman - Sir William Whittington of Pauntley. He arrived in London around 1379, and began to deal in costly textiles, and became an extremely wealthy merchant. This is an imagined portrait of him at the Mercers' Company, the Premier Livery Company of the City of London.
In fact, his wealth was such that he made loans to both King Henry IV and Henry VI. He made large charitable donations, including the founding of the Whittington School in London, the rebuilding of Newgate Gaol, and an almshouse for the poor.
He married the daughter of an Alderman - Alice Fitzwarren, (or Fitzwaryn) and became an Alderman himself, before taking the honorary title of Sheriff in 1393. It was under the patronage of King Richard II that he became Lord Mayor of London in 1397, and later again in 1406 and 1419. He became a member of parliament in 1416.
Sadly nearly all of Whittington’s good works were destroyed in the Great Fire of London (1666). There is, however a window in the Guildhall serving as a memorial, and a small stone image in the crypt.
Thanks to its-behind-you.com for this synopsis.
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The Pilton 'Dick Whittington' by Director Lee Smith
"I wanted to test myself in adapting a pantomime that I hadn't previously read or seen. Dick Whittington is not a pantomime that is regularly produced in comparison with Snow White, Aladdin, Cinderella, etc.
It really interested me, especially the quality of an outsider failing several times but having the perseverance eventually succeeding. From a Pilton pantomime perspective it allows itself for a large cast with many characters that can create a comic ensemble - not just the dame and fool as seen in many pantomimes. A large cast allows all of Pilton's generations to participate - young and old, experienced and new to the stage.
We are an inclusive company hoping to develop all that want to participate. At Pilton pantomime we focus on 'play' and the Panto should be a silly joyous event. Done as professionally as we can, taking the responsibility of putting on a good show is paramount. We have jokes aimed at children and slightly naughtier jokes that will sail over the children's heads.
Pantomime is a Pilton community event. We want it to continue and thank you for your continuing support. Join us on a journey there may be twists and turns, a few surprises and some belly laughs. Get a few beers in, sit comfortably, the story is about to begin........"