Monday, December 10, 2012

Review - Snow White - The Peoples Theatre

Snow White 
8th December 2012

It’s hard to believe a year has passed by and we are into Panto season again, but indeed, 2012 is almost behind us (oh yes it is!) and the villains and heroes are preparing to do battle once more.

This year we are off to Cannyville, home of Snow White and Chuckles (her best friend in the whole wide world) Lilith her wicked stepmother and, of course, the Seven Dwarves. There were actually quite a few more than seven – I counted 28 on stage at once point!

Cannyville naturally has fallen on hard times and Lilith (Moira Valentine) is looking to marry the handsome Prince Rufus (Aiofe Kennan) from the neighbouring land, the wealthy Kingdom of Darras Hall no less!  But her beautiful step daughter stands in her way – the prince will never fall for the queen – no matter how glamorous – while the sweet and beautiful Snow White (Emma Jane Richards) is around! And so a dastardly plot is hatched…you know how it goes, evil tries its damnedest but good wins out in the end!

As always the People’s Theatre has produced a very professional and slick show! The scenery is simple – a dungeon, a forest glade or two, and the dwarves’ cottage. Atmosphere is provided when needed by clever lighting – keep an eye on the sky – some dry ice, and spooky music from the orchestra! It’s all deceptively simple and means that the audience’s attention is focused on the actors – and they keep that attention with jokes (some suitably terrible ones!) and quips, songs and dancing and plenty of audience participation. Chuckles, played by Stuart Douglas keeps everyone laughing, encouraging the audience to join in at every opportunity. He is helped in this by his stage mother, Nurse Kitty – played beautifully (and I use the word advisedly!) by Kevin Gibson, in an array of preposterous outfits as befits the panto dame! I loved his plaintiff cry “three appearances in and still in the same frock”! Hard times indeed in Cannyville! 

The perfect foil to these two are the baddies of the show Lilith the glamorous but evil  queen and her incompetent henchman Sidney Snarl. Sidney (Peter Harrison) snarls and snivells his way through the script. With their equally exaggerated accents he and Lilith draw boos and hisses from the audience.  

Highlights of the show – and there were many – have to be the Irish dancing by Clann na nGael, which was awe-inspiring, and the Abba routine “If you change your mind” with Kitty and Sidney, which was equally awe-inspiring but in a completely different way. So funny!

I think the sign of a good panto is the level of audience participation – there is nothing so funny as the ghost scene with a theatre full of kids and quite a few mams, dads and grannies, screaming “He’s behind you!” And scream they did at this one. I swear they could be heard over in Darras Hall!

Brilliantly produced, well performed. If you are looking to see a panto this year then I would recommend this one. You’ll be made welcome by the front of house staff and your sides will ache with laughter by the end of it – what more could you want?
Snow White runs until the 16th December - oh yes it does!

Denise Sparrowhawk


  1. Agree with every word - we were there on Sunday afternoon and it was brilliant!

  2. Oh and I can't believe I forgot to mention the slo-mo kung-fu scene...LOL! And how cute were all those little dwarves? Too many good bits to mention!