ChildrensComedyNorth WestReview

Snow White – Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

Writer: Mike Kenny

Director: Matt Ashton

Reviewer: Richard Hall

Best known for their off the wall, zany, adult humour often at the expense of famous literary characters; Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, otherwise known as the popular comedy duo Lip Service, give in this show their unique take on the well known and much loved classic fairy story. Written by the prolific Mike Kenny, responsible for many successful stage adaptations including the smash hit The Railway Children, this entertaining show co-produced by the Engine House and Lip Service will appeal to both diehard fans of Lip Service and older children.

Fox and Ryding, play identical twin sisters, Bijou and Betty, which given that one of them is tall and the other is short, is a neat recurring joke. The sisters are cooks in the Royal Household and having been banned from baking by Snow White’s now departed evil step mother are in celebratory mood as they begin to make a cake for their beloved Snow White’s forthcoming wedding.

Making the cake is an excuse for a lot of madcap comedy and tomfoolery and enables Fox and Ryding, to tell the story of Snow White in their own inimitable style. In acting out the story they imaginatively use a variety of kitchen utensils as props and items of costume. The set by an unaccredited designer is a wonderful cross between a magical music box and a small toy theatre. Comprising of a beautifully lit stained glass window and a comic book kitchen it is the perfect setting for this show. It should come as no surprise in this age of political correctness that the seven dwarfs in this production are replaced by seven miners and given Lip Service’s liking for all things nonsensical are played by seven boiled eggs.

Adult fans of Lip Service will instantly engage with Fox and Ryding’s familiar wacky sense of humour and children will enjoy the many knock about routines and well judged audience participation. The show is billed as being suitable for children aged four plus, the performance that this reviewer attended however was largely made up of children much younger than this who fidgeted for most of the hour long show. For slightly older children there is a lot to enjoy in this production especially the lively recorded music, slapstick and clever wordplay.

Directed by Matt Aston this is an invigorating and enjoyable new telling of this classic and enduring tale. As ever Fox and Ryding’s comic timing is spot on and a joy to watch. In time this show will no doubt become as popular as the ones that they have previously produced for adults.

Runs until Wednesday 13 April

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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