The King’s Head Theatre and Charles Court Opera follow other companies to take their annual pantomime online for Christmas. You can join in at home by pausing the action and pushing a button to dictate the next scene you see.
This is Snow White, but not as you know her. She’s no blushing innocent, and she keeps house for those seven dwarfs Drowsy, Half-Baked … well, Disney have to enforce their naming copyright!
Written and directed by John Savournin, who also plays the leading lady (widow of Barry – yes, that one), this is a hugely entertaining and vibrant feast of songs, puns, and dirty jokes – although there is a family-friendly version to watch if you’re viewing with little ones.
There’s a marvellous megamix of familiar tunes which will make you laugh and sing out, and a pair of dastardly voice over cameos from Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard as the Men in the Mirror, a bickering pair of troublemakers.
In these days of the rule of six, it is perhaps inevitable that all seven dwarfs are played by one actor, and Matthew Kellett ably rises to the challenge. Harry (Meriel Cunningham) and Larry (Emily Cairns) are spot the classic courtier and prince,
When Barry has his own cameo (would he ever have guessed?) it is delightful: “you have souuuul much to give”. You may not escape the pandemic, but in a song about washing hands and keeping space at least the situation is suitably lampooned.
Jennie Jacob’s Wicked Queen has powerful vocals and a hefty dose of evil, with her paper crown and coal-black heart. You might even feel a pang of pity for her, stuck on her own with only her reflection since March.
It is a moment to rejoice when she joins the rest of the crew in their misshapen house (designed by George Johnson-Leigh and somewhat reminiscent of the German silent cinema of the 1910s). No red hot shoes for this misunderstood madam.
There is glorious singing of David Eaton’s songs and arrangements, a festive frolic of fun and games, and a sterling bit of choreography from David Hulston, who manages to make the movement both graceful and hilarious, helped by the costumes by Holly Pigott.
This is my first Charles Court Opera production, and I doubt it will be my last. There really is something for everyone including a moment of invited “shout at the screen”.
You can watch Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown all over the Christmas period once purchased, and I will certainly be checking out the family version too. To book yourself in visit https://www.kingsheadtheatre.com/.
Image credit: Ali Wright.
LouReviews received complimentary access to review Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown.