Snow White

Date 24th November 2023
Society South Manchester AOS
Venue ZArts
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Laura Aremia
Musical Director Ed Nurse
Choreographer Holly Ireland & Molly Eborall
Producer Kevin Proctor & Andy McNicholas
Written By Kevin Proctor

Report

Author: Liz Hume-Dawson

South Manchester AOS Pantomime "Snow White" played to a packed house with children attending in whatever their favourite characters are and a lot of princesses were spotted. A time for escapism, of laughter, ridiculousness and a real feel of community all-round. Director Laura Aremia threw everything at us with the script written by Kevin Proctor, we hardly had time to draw breath - the laughs just kept coming. I felt although modern in its approach, it was very much traditional, something for everyone and the innuendoes landing at your own pace and take what you will from the language used - this audience clearly lapped it up. The casting was spot on.

With trucks and backcloths used for various scenes and walking into the Theatre to a glitzy safety curtain with the title of the show on set the scene. Stage Management Ross Hardman and Richard Ross with Sue Ellis as Assistant. Lighting and Sound also enhanced the show with lighting also getting the intended laugh.  Lighting Design and Operation Chris Osborn and Sound by John Ormerod. Costumes were colourful and thought had gone into colour choice adding to the extravaganza. Wigs worn by the Dame got the intended laughs. Costumes by Charades and South Manchester with Wardrobe by Kevin Proctor and Andy McNicholas.

The Choreography was by Holly Ireland and Molly Eborall. I thought it was outstanding. I loved the modern take and each dance told a story in itself and enhanced the songs. The routines made full use of the stage. Ed Nurse was the Musical Director and must have had great fun with at B&M, good choice of songs throughout the show finishing with South Manchester AOS’ adopted anthem 'One Last Time'.

The traditional dwarves are replaced by 7 'vertically-challenged’ Lord Farquaads. Oldie was played by Tom Guest who also played the keyboards in Twelve Days of Christmas complete with a mouthful of Turkish Delight. Hilarious. Paul Millard was Dopey, Lynsey Steel was Tricky, Joseph Butcher as Campy gave us full on camp eagerness. So funny. Philip Callaghan was Stinky, Sally Barber was Misery and Antiona Whitehead was supposed to be Allergic, but unfortunately was ill on the day and Faye Allison from the Ensemble donned the costume and took over at the last minute and did a great job.

Simple Simon was played by David Steggles and Rocky the Dog was played by Loui Quelcutti. They worked well together and had lots of energy and the chocolate bar scene was the candy coating. Prince Bruno was played by Alex Re, very funny the music blast of the same name from the Encanto film. Alex gave us true panto camp principal boy style and talking of camp. Mirror Mirror played by Tom Farnworth - Manchester’s answer to Julian Clary - wow, what a costume! He lit up the stage, no! . . . he literally lit up the stage with his silver shimmering, over the top gorgeousness costume you could probably see him from Jodrell Bank. His facial expressions were so funny towards his mistress Queen Evamean played by Rebekah Davies, who clearly relished the role and loved being booed. Loved Murder on The Dancefloor. Great character. Well done on the ‘Square Cut Punt’ scene!

The title role Princess Snow White is played by Abbie Venables, who is a delight and her character interpretation was just right with a not-so wet princess she had a bit more fight about her - not wanting love, but finding it anyway. This version Snow White comes with a sister called Gail White played by Freia Reidel-Fisher with energy off the grid. Freia gave us sass and comedy and couldn’t take my eyes of her. Barbie Girl eat your heart out - a great addition to the story.

Last, but not least is Kevin Proctor as Nora Crumble - most of Nora’s outfits related to food in some way. I see lots of Dames at this time of year (Oh yes I do!) and on reflection Kevin gives us a masterclass in Dame-ology. Ever present on stage holding fort, while not dominating and generous in sharing the space. Kevin also gives us a tap dance with wings on. Fabulous! Can we get an Amen up in here?!

South Manchester cast and crew must surely be delighted with this year’s sell out show and it was lovely to leave with a Christmassy feel. Thank you for the invite and hospitality from my guest Matthew and I.

 

Liz Hume-Dawson

D5 Rep.