Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

Date 6th December 2019
Society Cannockwood & Gentleshaw Musical Society
Venue Prince of Wales Theatre Canncok
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Sharron Burns
Musical Director David Henshaw
Choreographer Ellen Nicholls & Sharron Burns

Report

Author: Paul Douglass

Take seven dwarfs, a wicked queen, a charming princess and a pantomime dame and what do you have, a great evening’s entertainment from a very talented society.  A familiar fairy tale, in the hands of the ever-reliable writer Alan P Frayn, creates an amusing and entertaining pantomime brought to life by CWAGMS with their usual style.

 
This version opens with Fairy Fortune (Louise Dance) setting the scene, swiftly followed by the arrival of Queen Avarice (Charlotte Chambers) who actively encourages the audience to hiss and boo, thus good and evil are immediately pitted against each other.  Sweet and lovely Snow White (Ellen Nicholls), loved by all except the Wicked Queen, looks very much as one might anticipate, in a Disney-esque costume.  She is secreted off to the woods by the odious Slurp (Roger Thackham), on the Queen’s orders, to suffer a fate worse than death, well, death actually.  Only the intervention of Fairy Fortune and Andy Nicholls as Prince Ferdinand saves her from her fate and facilitates a meeting with her seven adorable, if somewhat eccentric, dwarfs.  This group of adults were suitably comic, delivering their witty dialogue enthusiastically with wonderful costumes and witty one-liners.

This version updated the story with song and movement, most of the songs being familiar and performed with style by the principals and chorus alike

The show was, to some extent, stolen by the local magistrate, fully suited, booted, gowned and bewigged, and his clerk.  Justice Quill was played by Geoff Rowlands and his clerk, Scribbles, was a suitably befuddled and wonderfully funny Nicki Drew.  I did enjoy the running gag regarding apples and laptops.  The Dwarfs, however, took some beating!  All ably supported by the other principals, they managed to bring proceedings to an acceptable conclusion, with everybody, except Queen Avarice (a fine performance from Charlotte), living happily ever after.  It was good to see two sets of principals having comedic roles.  Not only Scribbles and Quill but Darrell Burns as Chuckles and John Nicholls as Edna Bucket (Pronounced Bouquet).  Darrell kept the audience laughing out loud with his one-liners and John playing the traditional panto dame.

This production had a really good set and some colourful costumes.  The scene where the chorus ladies cam on as Brownies went down really well with the large number of Brownie packs in the audience.

The orchestra sounded really good, under the direction of Brian Hirst.  With the balance being just right so every word could be heard.

The enthusiasm of the whole company shone through the whole production.  Well done to everybody concerned.