Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of those classic tales that has all the ingredients for a successful pantomime: a mixture of good and bad characters, an element of the supernatural and a hefty dose of romance, requiring only the injection of comedy and music for a great show. The audience at the Epstein were clearly in the mood for a good time, and this production didn’t disappoint them.
The show has a strong line-up of familiar television names, plus some excellent though lesser known actors in other roles. Crissy Rock is at her ear-piercing best as a loud, abrasive and very Scouse Evil Queen, happy to provide some of the show’s most entertaining moments by trading sharp tongued banter with the audience. Paul Danan – who for four years was Sol Patrick in Hollyoaks – gave a strong performance as a chirpy Prince Charming, while Desperate Scousewives’s Amanda Harrington as Fairy Goodheart occasionally showed her lack of acting experience but made up for it with the clarity of her delivery and undoubted glamour. Liverpool’s (and probably Britain’s) best known hairdresser, Herbert Howe, has plenty of pantomime experience though his contribution as the Magic Mirror that tells no lies was pre-recorded. On the night we went however the man himself was very much present, sitting in the stalls a row back from where we were (people should have been shouting ‘Behind you!’ at us).
Amongst the rest of the cast, Laura Gregory, who had a lead role playing Snow White, showed undoubted promise as a young (and local) actress making her professional debut. Michael Chapman came close to stealing the show with an hilarious performance as Dame Val, and Paul Quinn as Muddles and Jo Cawley as the Henchman were both really entertaining. The dwarfs were played by children, whose confident performances and comical antics delighted the audience.
This is genuinely a show for all ages, and the colourful costumes and energetic dance routines made it a great spectacle. We thoroughly enjoyed it and it was clear from all of the applause and laughter that everybody else did too.
Snow White continues at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool until 5th January. For more information, visit the theatre’s website: www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk