Joining the noteworthy list of Qdos Entertainment’s 754 pantomime productions is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Directed by Guy Unsworth, the show truly is “the fairest panto in all the land.” Expectations are exceeded as the pantomime is an eye-catching spectacle that is suitable for children but clearly directed towards a more mature audience with it’s dark adult humour.
Manchester Opera House sets the stage for the show, which features Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood as the deliciously wicked Queen Lucretia. Horwood is seen lusting after the handsome Prince Harry, which, in turn, leads to numerous comedic moments between the two characters, with sexual connotations geared towards adult members of the audience.
As Horwood blends his Strictly persona into that of the Wicked Queen, the colourful lighting creates a glimmering effect on his many bejeweled costume changes and mesmerised the audience. It is almost impossible to hate the wicked Queen who, like in the original fairytale, poisons Snow White with an apple, when, as an audience member, you envy her glamorous costumes.
The reputation Manchester Opera House has garnered through their large scale productions was upheld throughout the panto. Pyrotechnics and stage effects were continuously used throughout the narrative and flowed well with the bright backgrounds to create a visual spectacle and playful atmosphere for younger audience members.
There were many opportunities for everyone to shout “behind you” and join in with songs. This powerful interaction between the characters on stage and the audience was credited to Ben Nickless’ character Muddles and Coronation Street star Eric Potts’ Dame Nora Crumble, who both, undoubtedly, stole the show. Their comedic routines engaged the children in the audience yet also appealed to the adults as Muddles appeared in a Donald Trump costume and even demonstrated Boris Johnson talking out of his backside, whilst using a water gun to splash older audience members with water.
Highlights of the show include the rendition of 12 Days of Christmas, where Horwood sings out “five toilet rolls”, and the powerful performance of You Raise Me Up by the 7 dwarfs. The chemistry between the actors played a massive role in the overall execution of these choreographed performances as their enthusiasm reflected well onto the audience.
Children and adults alike, the powerful performances and spectacular stage effects had everyone amazed but also in hysterics. This pantomime is an irresistible experience for all ages.
Snow White runs at the Opera House until 29th December.