With clever use of lighting effects and
gauze screens, the very sad back story of Snow White and the Wicked
Queen is soon passed over and, as the gauze lifts, the teenage Snow
White runs down the palace stairs and joins the villagers in the
rousing opening number which serves as a very good indication of the
enthusiasm and energy that will take us all the way to the finale.
The eight stage school dancers and the
six senior dancers throw themselves around the stage as if their
lives depend on it and, with Snow White, played by Jenny Jones,
providing some strong vocals at the front, the opening scene receives
a thunderous reception.
Chris Pizzey continues the
enthusiastic and energetic start as he bounces onto the stage as
Muddles. The children quickly warm to him and are only too pleased to
scream and shout on command and, each time the volume cranks up a
notch, it’s obvious that Pizzey is loving every moment and is
totally at home in his role.
Nurse Dettol is played with great skill
by Nick Wilton. Although some of his costumes are maybe not as
elaborate as the ones that are appearing in some other local
pantomimes, they are very colourful and, to be fair, his finale
outfit is quite spectacular.
Displaying his vocal talent, his
devastatingly handsome looks, and his immediate infatuation with Snow
White is Toby Alexander-Smith as the Prince. He plays along with
the comedy well, but works his way through the slushy stuff even
better. As he bent over to kiss the poisoned Snow White in Act Two, I
could see many “Mums” in the audience who would gladly have
swapped places with her for a while!
Without doubt, one of the highlights of
the show happens as the spotlights work their way through the
audience to find the Seven Dwarfs at the back of the auditorium. They
march toward the stage accompanied by their theme tune and the claps
and cheers of hundreds of children, and adults, who are delighted to
see that real dwarfs star in this show. Throughout the show they all
work well together, providing some great comic moments together with
a little sadness too and their cottage, with its seven tiny beds, is
very well designed and beyond cute.
Janine Duvitski is an inspired choice
to star as the Wicked Queen. Her experience as a comic actress comes
in very handy, particularly in her scenes with the mirror, and her
inability to get the other characters names correct is a brilliant
running gag. She also sparkles in her seduction scenes with the,
totally uninterested, Prince. She is so determined to “have” him
that some of the scenes are so cringingly funny, it is almost
uncomfortable to watch.
The highlights of the production have
to be the fantastic "Twelve days of Christmas" number and
one of the dwarfs (Josh Bennett), who has the misfortune to be
unwillingly included in the traditional song sheet number – both
scenes are brilliantly funny and guaranteed crowd-pleasers in this
wonderfully traditional and very entertaining show.