Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
30th November 2018
The Memorial Hall, Ponteland
Type of Production
Sarah Chadwick and Bekki Shenfine
Author: Michael L Avery
Ponteland’s pantomime, this year is the version of Snow White written by John Yates. It follows the traditional story, a fairy tale rather than a traditional panto., with a suitably hissable Queen (Hayley Olsen) who is Snow White’s evil stepmother, a friendly Fairy Godmother (Bekki Shenfine), Seven Dwarfs (well 10 actually!), and a Magic Mirror (Jason Long) which cannot lie. The Queen is assisted by Pick and Snot (yuk!) played amusingly by Jonny Woollett and JPonteland's pantomime, this year, is the version of Snow White written by John Yates. It follows the traditional story, (a fairy tale rather than a pantomime), with a suitably hissable Queen (Hayley Olsen) who is Snow White's evil step-mother, a friendly Fairy Godmother (Bekki Shenfine), Seven Dwarfs (well, ten actually!) and a Magic Mirror (Jason Long which cannot lie. The Queen is assisted by Pick and Snot (yuk!) amusingly played by Jonny Woollett and Joe Costigan, a cowardly and bumbling duo ordered to make Snow White disappear. Fortunately, they are both incompetent and squeamish.
Snow White, beloved of everybody except the Queen, looks much as you might imagine, in her Disneyesque costume with glossy black hair, red lips, winning smile and pleasing voice. She is well played by Zoe Buckthorp, who continues to exhibit the promise shown last year as Tup Tim in The King, which earned her a NODA Performance Award. Philip Browell is the Dame, Betty the Cook. He, together with Pick and Snot, encourage a suitable amount of amused audience participation. In fact, as the dynamic duo leave the stage to work the crowd, one young girl in front of me, enthralled and beaming with laughter, could not take her eyes off them. She wasn’t the only one. I was just praying they wouldn’t identify me or my NODA badge! Leo Emmerson, another past NODA Award winner, adds to their mayhem as The Huntsman.
The Dwarfs, played by youngsters from the Preppies Youth Theatre, are comfortable and confident in their parts. On the Friday evening, they were played by Rilvey Chivers, Becky Conroy, Abi Cuthbertson, Jess Cuthbertson, James Hickie, Matthew Hunter, Jasmine Lever, Amelia Long, Inaya Malik and Evie Patterson. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the other team of youngsters.
There is a novelty in the form of the Palace Cat (Lily Chalmers) who encourages cries of “catch the cat” from the audience, with an insouciant smile and shake of her tail. Bekki Shenfine is an attractive Fairy Godmother who demurely needed to back off the stage, early on, when a pyrotechnic, which announced her entry, caught fire.
I counted 34 performers and regret not mentioning them all. Together with production crew and musicians, they all contributed to an energetic and enthusiastic production. My back and I did find Act One a little long but, that apart, a most enjoyable evening.