Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Superbly silly panto brings a taste of the West End

Superbly silly panto brings a taste of the West End

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Wycombe Swan | Sunday, December 9

THIS Christmas, the glitz and glamour of the West End has come to the Wycombe Swan in the form of Stewart Nicholls’s enthralling adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This spectacular shone as energetic and elaborate silliness given form — a real Christmas treat!

The audience were immediately set giggling by the delightful “dwarfs”, providing instant comic relief from the fight to get through the traffic and into the theatre.

The jokes were spine-cringingly awful, the costumes were hilarious, and the effect on the children was magical.

From this magnificent start, choreographer Alan Burkitt and musical director “Uncle” Allan Rogers, treated us to song and dance aplenty.

If you are looking for something classically musical theatre, you may want to give this pop jukebox a miss, but if you are a Radio 1 regular this is your show.

The song choices were not the only break with tradition, though. Confusingly, girls played girls, and boys played boys — outrageous! However, the beloved dame was still there, gloriously hammed up by Jason Sutton. There were a few forgotten lines, but they lent honesty to the fun, and he covered in a style that brought extra mirth, a true panto professional.

Ventriloquist Kieran Powell was masterful as Muddles, the jester of the show. His acts with Dave the Dinosaur won the whole audience over, and his ability to carry us with him left more than a few watchers wishing Muddles had won the girl.

Given his name across every banner, we may have expected to see too much of the fantastic Brendan Cole, but this wasn’t strictly his show. He certainly added his own flair, but he never overstepped the rhythm of the night. Mandy Muden as the Mirror will be familiar to Britain’s Got Talent fans, and her depiction of the good-hearted magical spirit provided the necessary counter to Natalie Spriggs’s bewitching portrayal of the evil Queen.

Round that off with bright young things Naomi Cowe and Robert Tripolino as Snow White and her Prince, charming all as the enchanted couple, and the show was bound to succeed.

A captivating cast, jokes, dazzling sets, bad jokes, plenty of music and dancing, and more truly awful jokes. This show is everything a good panto should be. What a way to open the season.

Booking until Sunday, December 30.

Lawrence Wood

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