* Pictures by Barrie Potter
* The chat show sequence from Snow White.
While it still contains all the favourite ingredients Llangollen Pantomime Group’s latest offering at the Pavilion, Snow White, has a few novel touches.Yes, the crowd-pleasing “he’s behind you” and “oh yes he is, oh no he isn’t” routines as well as the traditional booing and hissing at the baddie and the sweets distribution to the audience are all firmly in place – but look out for one or two fresh twists.
Without issuing a spoiler alert beforehand I can tell you that right at the end there’s a hilarious, pre-filmed chat show sequence in the style of Jeremy Kyle in which the wicked queen swaps insults with the heroine about the small mtter of attempted murder.But I shall only hint at the other clever innovations introduced by director Justine Bradey and her team. All I can say is watch out for the entrance of the Mirror on the Wall early on in the action and also make a careful head-count of the Seven Dwarves.
All the usual hard work and attention to detail has clearly gone into this colourful production which is brought stylishly to life by a very talented cast of key characters and an enormous chorus of cute kids.Playing it for laughs in a big way is old panto hand Nico Decourt as the dame, Nurse Knick-Knack. The make-up and costume departments have worked wonders on him – particularly the assortment of wigs – and his line in patter is pretty smart, and scrupulously family-friendly, too.
Another natural deliverer of mirth whenever he appears on stage is another of the group’s stalwarts Neil Barrett as Chamberlain Potts. If ever anyone had the perfect face for comedy it’s this guy!Talent obviously runs in the family as Neil’s son Harvey makes a rather good King Archibald while daughter Eve plays The Mirror – she of the crazy way of appearing on stage I mentioned earlier.
Deliciously loathsome in the role of the awful Queen Evelyn, the villain of the piece who tries to do in Snow White, is Joanna Potts and taking the title role with just the right amount of syrupy sweetness is Celyn Orton-Jones.Shea Ferron, already something of a star of other local productions, plays Snow’s love interest Prince Rupert with aplomb and Jo Pearson, again magnificently bewigged, does a nice turn as the queen’s bumbling henchman Humphrey.
The diminutive bunch playing the dwarves – well, not all of them – are another hit with the audience and the whole show is bound together well by the bubbly Simon Orton-Jones as the ringmaster-attired Narrator.The other elements which shine out here are the brilliant costumes, minimalist but effective stage settings and props, zingy script and well-chosen songs which are wonderfully backed by a six-piece band led by musical director Helen Belton.
If you fancy something to warm you up a miserable winter’s day there are two more performances of Snow White left, today and tomorrow.