Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
The Hexagon, Reading

Snow White at the Hexagon in Reading is a good, old-fashioned panto - in the best sense of the world.

Our stage correspondent saw kids jumping up and down and adults giggling like loons - fantastic!

If you ever want to explain the peculiar British sense of camp fun to anyone, take them to a good pantomime. And if you want a good pantomime, you need the right cast: a children's TV presenter and Bouncer from Neighbours are not necessarily cut out for the job...

Su Pollard and Christopher Lillicrap, however, clearly are. It takes talent to be able to turn from a simpering cleaning maid to a thoroughly booable evil queen. Christopher Lillicrap has done a masterful job as writer, combining almost every single panto cliche you've paid good money to see into a couple of fun-packed hours. People who complain about the TV generation would have been amazed by the kids' ability to play along with set pieces like "it's behind you!", "oh no we're not!" and the rest.

There was of course all the usual excellent, heart-warming magic and fun (bunnies, the great cake-making scene, gratuitous dancing to pop songs). The older children were treated to that particular brand of eye-popping double entendre courtesy of Mr Lillicrap ("ooh, look at that saucy gentleman - Father Christmas has nothing on you..."), but one thing that seemed interesting was the choice of songs. The musical numbers were slick and entertaining - a rarity in regional panto - but some of the songs hailed from the '60s, '70s and '80s. All very appropriate and enjoyable, but some of the littler ones were getting slightly restless at that point. S Club's "Reach" was the exception and a real high moment, though.

It's hard to fault this production, and it goes highly recommended to any young people looking for fun, or anyone older who needs a smile putting on their face. Four and a half jellybabies out of five.

BBC Berkshire
December 2003