Snow White, Norwich
MIRANDA YATES If, at the end of the Christmas season, someone were to ask “mirror, mirror on the wall which was the best panto of them all”, the answer might well be the Maddermarket's Snow White.
If, at the end of the Christmas season, someone were to ask “mirror, mirror on the wall which was the best panto of them all”, the answer might well be the Maddermarket's Snow White.
This is a joyful, rumbustious ensemble production, which benefits from Clare Goddard's elegant direction and attention to every enchanting detail.
A pair of cream curtains, forming the first pages of Snow White's tale, open and take us into a sunny medieval world where a bustling court of jesters, huntsmen, dancing rustic types and their wimpish King, are due to collide with a jealous Queen on the way to happily-ever-after.
The interplay between light and dark is cleverly orchestrated, leaving room for both Grimm and the usual panto slapstick to breathe. Scenes from the palace's shadowy dungeons and mirror room give way to bright, comic set pieces, led by an emotionally overwrought Dame Murgatroyd, whose ill-concealed passion for the King is a wonderful saucy addition to the tale.
“You've got something the others haven't my dear” gushes the King. Not harf!
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The blushing darlings of the show are, of course, the seven dwarfs – an overgrown line up of adults, ranging from a 5ft-nothing Dopey to a stocky 6ft Bossy.
Many of the much-deserved laughs derive from the antics of this clattering seven-a-side team. Who needs ex-soap stars and B-list celebrities in the cast, when you've got home-grown talent burning so brightly.