Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is this years panto offering from Manchester’s Opera House and, just like their previous ones such as Peter Pan and Dick Whittington, no expense has been spared in the production.
There’s sparkly sets for the children to feast their eyes on and lavish costumes that create that Christmas magic we all love about pantoland.
Headlining the show is Elvis’ wife Priscilla Presley who plays Snow White’s stepmother , the Wicked Queen. Priscilla looks stunning, seductively clad in a dress split up to her thigh, which defies her 69 years. Despite having played the role previously in Wimbledon Priscilla seems to struggle with becoming a true panto villain and for me never quite hits the mark, she also mimes her way though the musical numbers which is a shame, especially as she is not in sync with the track.
Thankfully Opera House panto veteran, Tam Ryan saves the day proving you don’t have to be a ‘name’ to steal the show. Ryan is a welcome return as Muddles and although you would think the Manchester audience would tire of seeing him as the comedy sidekick every year, he never fails to get them on side. His interaction with both kids and adults is second to none and more scenes with him would have not gone a miss.
The entrance of the seven dwarfs led by ‘Prof’, Warwick Davis is another highlight as they ‘Hi Ho’ their way through the audience and light up the stage with their banter, even poking fun at themselves along the way. Watch out for the dwarves own version of Britain’s Got Talent complete with a hilarious Subo and send up of 2013 winners Attraction.
Providing the romantic element to the show are Natalie Andreou and former Brookside hottie Philip Olivier as Snow White and the Prince. Both provide good vocals and do their best with roles that are paper-thin when it comes to character.
Warwick Davis directs this production with Eric Potts again at the helm when it comes to penning the script. With such an experienced panto duo in charge your expectations are high and the show sometimes falls short of that being flat in parts. That aside the sounds of the children squealing with delight as they utter the immortal words ‘he’s behind you’ and yell at Snow White to ‘don’t eat the apple’ proves it still hits the mark in their hearts.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
OPERA HOUSE, MANCHESTER, Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HP
Fri 5 Dec 2014 – Sun 4 Jan 2015.