STRICTLY COME DANCING JUDGE
Snow White Mayflower Theatre19th Feb 2017
IT’S the best yet.
Much was made by star of the show Craig Revel Horwood about it being Fab-u-lous dahling and A-maz-ing in a nod to his Strictly judge alter ego. They’re not adjectives I use to describe a lot of things but, on this occasion, I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had it all. The stars, sets, costumes, songs, dance routines and all the production values of a top West End show mixed with all the fun and frolics of panto.
Of course there were in jokes, local references, chart music, bags of audience participation, boos, hisses and shouts of ‘oh no you’re not’ as is customary in theatres up and down the land at this time of year. But, to my amazement, I didn’t cringe once.
I’m notoriously a little bit of a scrooge when it comes to pantomime, having seen a lot more than my fair share of truly awful versions over the years. Mayflower Theatre have seriously upped their game in recent years with some corking shows, but this one tops them all.
Revel Horwood, the Strictly star we love to hate, is utterly brilliant as the Wicked Queen and boy can he belt out a tune with his powerful version of My Way drawing gasps from a completely spellbound audience last night.
The Chuckle Brothers had young and old alike laughing out loud at their hilarious antics, the rude cucumber scene being a particular highlight. And Flawless were just that, with plenty of signature acrobatics, robotics and athleticism whenever they had the chance to show off their incredible moves.
The entire cast were superb from start to finish and had us all singing and dancing along to a Saints song within minutes of curtain up. Charlotte Haines as Snow White and Oliver Savile as Prince Harry of Hampshire made an adorable couple and the seven dwarfs and their increasingly ridiculous costumes including ride-on woodland creatures hysterical. Local youngsters from the Lindsey Read School of Dance should get special mention for not putting a foot wrong and being cute and impressive all at once.
A flying red eyed dragon and giant terrifying bat carrying the Wicked Queen over the stalls were just some of the astonishing special effects we’ve come to expect, along with a rather high tech mirror containing an ugly elf intent on toppling the Queen from her beauty crown.
Three generations of the same family were my companions for the evening and I honestly couldn’t tell you whether 11-year-old George and Miranda, aged eight, or their grandad enjoyed it more. They all looked utterly joyful throughout.
And that’s the beauty of panto. But only when it’s this good.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs really is the fairest panto of them all.
It runs until Sunday January 7. Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or mayflower.org.uk