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The New Vic Theatre presents - The Hundred and One Dalmatians Written by Dodie Smith - Adapted and directed by Theresa Heskins - Saturday, November 23, to Saturday, February 1, 2014.

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 18, 2013

By Abbey Buxton

Polly Lister as the evil, crazed, fur-obsessed Cruella De Vil.

Polly Lister as the evil, crazed, fur-obsessed Cruella De Vil.

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THIS year the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-Under-Lyme is showcasing another children's classic to take centre stage for its Christmas production.

The Hundred and One Dalmatians – written by Dodie Smith – is showing until Saturday, February 1. Adapted and directed by New Vic Artistic Director, Theresa Heskins, the New Vic's production sits in the world of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel, with original Swing music performed live by a talented cast of actor musicians, and dynamic Lindy Hop dance routines taking over the theatre-in-the-round.

Post & Times reporter Abbey Buxton went to see the show. AS A huge fan of the Disney classic version of 101 Dalmatians growing up I was really pleased to see this being performed as the Christmas show for the New Vic.

Having seen The Wizard of Oz at the same theatre a few years previously, which was ingeniously adapted for the in-the-round venue, I was really excited to see how the directors, producers and cast would adapt this classic children's tale, and I was not disappointed.

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Fast moving, dynamic and ingeniously staged, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, has been brought to life by the same creative team behind the New Vic's record-breaking A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

Straight away you are immersed into the scene and story, with a fabulously inventive set design, which invites actors and audiences to put their imaginations centre-stage and harnesses physical theatre techniques to stage the seemingly impossible.

Of course, the first question on most of our lips was: "How do they get around the fact that the whole story and most of its cast are based on dogs?" But they do, and they do it very well.

Adults and children alike will absolutely love this heart-warming production which truly embodies the spirit of Christmas and family.

Theresa Heskins' in-the-round Christmas productions have achieved critical acclaim and popular success in recent years.

The Hundred and One Dalmatians is no different with nearly 25,000 children expected to see the show.

The Hundred and One Dalmatians features a wonderful cast.

This includes Hannah Edwards (A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, New Vic Theatre) as the slightly naive but relentlessly caring Perdita, Oliver Mawdsley (A Christmas Carol, New Vic Theatre) as the energetic, comical and determined Pongo, and Polly Lister (Hayfever, Oldham Coliseum Theatre; Cooking with Elvis, Derby Theatre) as the evil, crazed, fur-obsessed Cruella De Vil.

Making up the rest of the diverse cast are Matt Connor, Andy Cryer, Lucy Faint, Anthony Hunt, Elliott Rennie, Sophie Scott, Paschale Straiton, Ali Watt and Christopher McKay and joining the professionals on stage is a team of 30 talented young performers.

The creative team includes the talents of award-winning television and film composer James Atherton, TMA-winning lighting designer Daniella Beattie (Best Lighting Design 2009), from Leek, and the New Vic's talented workshop team.

Tickets for The Hundred and One Dalmatians, priced from £14 to £21(concessions available), are available by telephoning the Box Office on 01782 717962.

Alternatively go online by visiting www.newvictheatre.org.uk. By Abbey Buxton

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