Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Date 15th December 2021
Society South Kesteven Acting and Musical Players
Venue Bourne Corn Exchange
Director Stuart Giddings
Choreographer Hilary Hull
Producer Joanne Henderson

Report

Author: Stuart Bull

First let me comment on the refurbishment of Bourne Corn Exchange. With its new décor it looks very smart indeed.

This was Stuart Giddings’ directorial debut, I believe, and quite a success it was too. It is easy to think that panto is just panto – “It’s not serious so it’s not difficult “– but how wrong can anyone be?  It needs to be slick, fast-moving but not so fast that it leaves the audience (often children) behind, and every element has to be just right- casting, costumes, choreo, lighting, music, props and so on.

 SKAMP’s production of Snow White ticked most of the boxes I am pleased to say. The director had given his cast a very traditional panto with all the expected tricks and turns, and they rose to it very well. Snow White (Jess Forbes) looked and acted the part well, and thigh-slapping Becki Oliver played a very knowing Prince Ferdinand. Adrian Worgan gave us a good Dame and her court jester sidekick Chuckles, played by Philip Briston, managed the trick of appearing both dim-witted and witty at the same time. The bad Queen Avarice (Tracy Hulme) was suitably evil and quickly developed some repartee with the more vocal members of the audience, oh yes she did. Smaller principal parts were handled well with an angelic good fairy (Emma Rogers), a bumbling Justice Quill (Jason Wilson) with his incompetent sidekick Scribbles, played well by Sarah Owen. Jason was particularly good at portraying bureaucratic inefficiency, and Sarah ‘s comic timing was on the button.

Ian Harrison as Slurp and Alex Moores as Merlin in the Mirror were both very good in their  cameo parts. Particular mention must be made of Alex’s hilarious pastiche of Freddie Mercury which had them rolling in the aisles.

The seven dwarves were played very competently by a cast of children and the chorus of peasants and dancers made up the sizeable chorus. All the children characterised their particular dwarf well, although I was a bit afraid that Sneezy might be spreading Covid with her spectacular “Atchoos”!

Costumes were colourful and appropriate, and diction and singing was good. There were also some very good dancers on stage.

There were a few technical glitches which disrupted the continuity of the show at times. Personal microphones were left switched on after characters had left the stage on several occasions, and at one point we waited two or three minutes for our Prince to enter via an auditorium door which couldn’t be opened. There were also some lighting miscues which I was told was due to a failure in the communications between the Stage Manager and the lighting desk when a battery went flat in someone’s headphones.

It was however the first night of the show, and I am sure that problems these were acted upon and corrected by the second night. Indeed, I saw the director diving into the backstage area to get things sorted out as I was leaving. The glitches didn’t detract from the show and the audience were very appreciative in their laughter and applause.

It was overall a very enjoyable evening and I would like to thank the members of SKAMP, and particularly Stuart, for their warm welcome and hospitality.

 

Stuart Bull (Dec.18th 2021)