Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Date 19th January 2018
Society Compton Little Theatre
Venue Compton Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Eleanor Balchin


Author: Pauline Surrey

A wicked stepmother, a mirror on the wall, seven hard-working dwarfs, beautiful Snow White, and a handsome prince.  But these were no ordinary Dwarfs, and that was no ordinary Mirror! Compton Village Hall will have seen a great many jolly CLT pantomimes, and this one followed in that great tradition. First one must praise the children for their excellent playing of assorted fairytale folk, Captain Hook, Pinocchio, Cinderella et al, and later woodland creatures. They were great at delivering their lines, the fairytale characters had jokes to do too, which they put across very well.

The sets were good, especially attractive was the forest scenery, beautiful and very enticing.  The castle, and the gnomes’ house with its clever window frame conjured up the scene nicely. The Queen’s dark ‘poison cupboard’ was threatening.

As far as props were concerned, a looong nose for Pinocchio;  2 coconut shells on a string playing a prominent part, some rather unwieldy large nuts for poor Squirrel to keep dropping, all stay in my head. Oh, and Nanny’s tears – I would love to acquire the prop that produced that!

There was scary makeup for the Wicked Queen, shiny makeup for the Mirror, and as for Nanny Fanny, her makeup and hairdos were fantastic!  The costumes were delightful, I loved the fairy tale characters’ costumes; sleeping beauty’s dress; the bear; squirrel – especially his annoying tail; the Queen’s little black slinky number; the gnomes hats and costumes; and all of Nanny Fanny’s delightful gowns!!

All kinds of jolly songs were chosen, some with their original text, some with new words. There were good dance numbers, I especially enjoyed the lovestruck duo of Sir Geoff and the Steward’s song to the Queen, with a bit of leapfrog thrown in!

So, we had the handsome thigh-slapping Prince (well done, Amy Aiello), a sweet and naïve heroine (Emily Foster), a nasty, threatening, black clad Queen (Lucy Watson) -  all were fine performances. 

There was good use of the stage, and indeed also of the whole hall, as characters constantly entered from the back, especially the Prince and his entourage on horseback, (hence the coconut shells!). Sir Geoff (Sean Lyttle) and the Steward (Zack Taylor) excelled themselves as they vied for the attention of the Queen, having unknowingly consumed her love potion intended for the Prince.  They serenaded, they jostled for position, they leapfrogged over one another, much to the audience’s amusement, and the Queen’s bemusement! The instantly loveable Nanny Fanny was brilliantly portrayed by Robin Matthews, with excellent timing for his rather good jokes, and he looked extremely fetching in all those outrageous costumes!

The strong and sexy woodman (Gordon Ayshford), Nanny’s love interest, provided a wonderful cameo moment with his little striptease as he chopped wood.  Brought the house down!

The Seven Dwarfs were great, we were all delighted with their dance performance, which would be hard to explain, but required the use of some stripey tights and tiny shoes! I especially loved Random (Caitlin Ruddy), who got us all thinking, and found myself strangely attracted to Flash (Sam Emmett)!

I have to say, ALL of the performances were full of character, whether it be the children as the Fairytale Folk (eg Captain Hook!); the thoughtful Mirror (Charlotte Schofield); the jumpy, helpful, loyal squirrel Scamper (Stephen Pugh), Snow White’s friend; and Snow White herself. Last but not least all seven of our dwarfs played their parts with great gusto, and the (scary) bear was very loveable!

Colour, exuberance, jolliness, lots of laughs, good music to tap one’s feet to, in short good old Panto fun! Thanks are definitely due to Eleanor Balchin, who not only directed this show so well, but also wrote it.