Review: Snow White panto at Gordon Craig Stevenage
PUBLISHED: 12:42 06 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:15 20 February 2013
Damion Roberts reviews Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage.
Years have passed since I last eased myself into a warm theatre seat ready for a pantomime but I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for.
Cheesy jokes, colourful characters and double entendres were all on the menu, and yours truly, as well as the rest of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs audience which was made up of faces young and old, was not left disappointed.
With a cast consisting of experienced West End actors as well as local theatre stars, the singing promised to be powerful and it was. A mix of classic pantomime tunes combined with some big-selling contemporary pop hits ensured that all members of the audience could sing along and they did just that.
Daniel Boys, once a contender on BBC 1s Any Dream Will Do and now a West End star, shone as Prince Simon, whilst Katie Rowley-Jones made a beautiful and delicate Snow White.
Star of Only Fools and Horses and The Green, Green Grass Sue Holderness starred as the wicked queen and really got the audience booing and hissing, but there were some hidden comic surprises from the actress and a familiar face representing her mirror on the wall.
With her winks and nods to the audience, Dame Dolly, played by Gordon Craig stalwart Paul Laidlaw, was well-received and knew how to use a good double entendre, and she was ably abetted by the bundle of energy that was Chris Clarkson, playing her son Herbie.
Yet the biggest cheers of the night were reserved for a certain seven characters who whistled while they worked.
The dwarfs were given different character names from those in the Disney film due to copyright (Dippy instead of Dopey, for example) but the characteristics that made the original characters popular with audiences more than 70 years ago remain the same in 2010 in Stevenage.
The production was bright and contemporary with plenty of audience participation which suggests director Laidlaw has hit the spot with his latest annual Christmas offering.
The show runs until January 23. For tickets, which start from 15, contact the Box Office on 01438 363 200 or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk