Writers: John Savourin and David Eaton
Music and Lyrics: David Eaton
Many theatre companies adapted quickly to the pandemic, and now with Christmas around the corner we are spoilt for choice when it comes to festive online shows. Like every December, it’s a crowded market of ghost stories and Christmas Carols. But the King’s Head has come up with something a little different: an online panto where the audience can choose its own route through the show. It makes for a fun night in.
In this version of the Snow White tale, our heroine, played by a deep-voiced John Savourin, lives in the forest with the Seven Dwarves. However, because of Disney copyright, they have different names. For instance, Half-Baked is Dopey and Matthew Kellett plays him with, bizarrely, an Australian accent. In fact, Kellett plays all of the Seven Dwarves, each with a strong accent. Together Snow White and the Dwarves must battle with the Wicked Queen, played with glee by Jennie Jacobs and goaded by the men in the mirror (with voices supplied by Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard).
Assisting them in the fight against evil is Prince Larry and his envoy Harry. And just to complicate things further, Snow White’s former husband is Barry (White, no less) setting the scene for some wonderful rhymes. Despite poisoned pies and homemade bombs, our gang is a formidable opponent for the Queen, and she even comes to admire their innocence and decent natures.
At various points during the show, the audience is presented with a choice of storylines, and so while the cast can’t hear our boos and cheers the characters can still respond to our wishes to hear a dirty joke or whether a character should eat a poisoned sweet. This interactive concept can’t replicate the real thing, but it’s an intriguing addition to the good-hearted show.
The songs are fun too, and Emily Cairns and Meriel Cunningham, who play Larry and Harry, have fine voices with Cairns excelling in the song Feel Like a Woman. The Frog Song is a neat rip-off of Mamma Mia, while the Funeral Song parodies A Candle in the Wind. Best however, is the mash up of many songs that the cast sing to themselves while lost in the forest.
In this adult panto there are some swear words but there’s surprisingly little smut. However, there is a children’s version too if littler ones are to be entertained. It’s not Christmas without the King’s Head panto and so Christmas may just be saved this year. Snow White in the Seven Days of Lockdown is full of good cheer!
Runs here until 3 January 2021