Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
Pollard belting out Screamin' Jay Hawkins'
50-year-old R&B classic I Put a Spell on You,
even with specially-adapted lyrics, seems an
unlikely showbiz prospect - but that's Pantoland
At first I thought this
was going to be better than it eventually turned
out to be because it was so apparent that Ms
Pollard was up for it.
impressively-delivered opening speech (of course,
everything in panto is amplified nowadays)
offered an eminently hissable Wicked Queen, and
the audience soon made clear it wasn't going to
be shy, either.
But it soon became
difficult not to notice that this is panto on a
budget. It may not be very far from Wolverhampton
as the crow flies, but with the comparison of the
Grand's Dick Whittington fresh in mind this did
feel rather like like stepping down from the
Championship to the Unibond League.
There's the same mix of
Technicolor medievalism (additionally flavoured
by the Disney film, which also supplies some of
the songs) and middle-of-the-road pop, but sets
and costumes are more rudimentary and what on
earth is that material the Henchman's cape is
supposed to be made of?
Anyway, this is the show
that always guarantees work for seven actors of
restricted growth, and members of the small
actors' repertory company turn in performances
which serve their purpose but are really more
ho-hum than hi-ho.
Apart from Su Pollard the
chief saving grace is Andrew Agnew as the court
jester, Muddles, who clowns along in a
particularly mellifluous Scottish accent.
by Terry Grimley