Writer: Mike Akers
Director: Hannah Mulder
Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty
Panto season is in full swing and there are Snow Whites stacked up as options for an evening’s entertainment. The Wrong Crowd, who produce this show, are possibly banking on some parents being sick of shouting “he’s behind you” year on year and want a credible alternative without straying too far from the comfort zone.
This new take on an old story brings Snow White’s tragic tale into the modern era. There’s laughs for sure, some touching moments and in place of her seven traditional friends, we have seven moles.
Here, the fairy tale has been twisted around to make a tight 70-minute production. Snow White is a neglected princess, with parents concerned only for their image and ego. When her father dies (of shock after a molehill appears on his perfect lawn) she is sent to live with her aunt Trish and help in her beauty salon. Here things unravel – the magic mirror makes Trish jealous of Snow’s beauty, the familiar abandoned murder in the woods follows, and Snow runs off and finds the moles to live with before returning for a happily ever after ending.
There’s a lot of charm in the production – some great songs and energy to spare. The beauty parlour idea allows for a lot of fun in the story, and the puppetry for the moles is adorable. It’s a shame that it feels a little flat then. Not outrageous enough for kids, not coherent enough for adults. The show feels like it’s pieced together to get from one funny moment to the next and it hangs together fine, but it feels like there’s a lot of energy into making not much happen.
The two real highlights (apart from Anne Odeke’s accents and characters as aunt Trish and a butcher) are Diana Alison-Mitchell’s movement and choreography and the puppetry. Moles have never seemed so cute.
The music is good and the whole message of family and forgiveness is worthwhile – but there’s a spark lacking. It’s good, clean family fun but presents itself without a challenge at all. And where’s the fun in that?
Runs until 30 December 2018 | Image: Contributed