Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

Date 25th February 2022
Society Bunbury Players
Venue Jubilee Centre, Mildenhall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Mandy Morrish
Musical Director Will Cahill
Choreographer Chloe Gilbert, Mandy Morrish, Harrison Southgate,
Producer Darren Mather
Written By Alan P Frayn

Report

Author: Julie Petrucci

After an imposed two year break the Bunburys were back in the Jubilee Centre, Mildenhall with Alan P Frayn’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 

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, choreography, lighting, music, props and so on. This production ticked most of the boxes I am pleased to say.

Snow White (Danielle Swanson) dressed in traditional Snow White guise as any small child in the audience would expect, acted well.  Thigh-slapping Amy Cahill played a very knowing Prince Ferdinand and her great voice was an added bonus. Matthew Darkins gave us a good Dame with the requisite outlandish wigs and costumes.  Whilst Dylan Watkins as the new court jester Chuckles, managed the trick of appearing both dim-witted and more-or-less witty at the same time. 

Karen Humphreys as Queen Avarice — the Queen of Mean, was really splendid, suitably evil and quickly eliciting boos from of the audience. A fine performance.

Among the smaller principal roles, Carrie Parsons as the bumbling Justice Quill was excellent and incompetent sidekick Scribbles, was played well by Jo-Ann Ward. This was a great pairing and they worked extremely well together. Compliments to Carrie on maintaining Justice Quill’s stance throughout.  

Those in minor roles all contributed to the success of the production: Chloe Gilbert gave a confident performance as a very sparkly and helpful Fairy Fortune.  In a minor role crucial to the plot Jim Mork did well as Slurp and Randy Borden as Merlin of the Mirror gave us a great rendition of “I want to Break Free”.  Of course I mustn't forget the Seven Dwarfs: Liana Barnard, Christopher Humphreys, Denise Vaughan, Katie Beckett, Louise Cywinski, Eleanor Vaughan and Bryony Hewitt. They worked hard and not just down the diamond mine, all characterised their particular role well.  Jess Field, Tom Mather, Joshua Humphreys, Ellie Plested, Mariah Stewart, Mia Webb and Michelle Webb were all kept busy singing, dancing and supporting everyone as   Townsfolk and Villagers.

Costumes were colourful and appropriate and the scenic backcloths were good which helped the stage crew perform some swift scene changes. There were a few technical glitches on the first night and although no sound cues were missed some of the dialogue was difficult to hear.  Projection may have been part of the problem but the noise from fans cooling the lights didn’t help. The lighting was good but a couple of dark patches caused problems.  However, any glitches didn’t detract from the show and the audience was very appreciative particularly some of the younger members who were so involved they revealed Slurp’s secret that the heart in the box was from Tesco!

From a personal perspective, this was one of Bunbury’s best pantomimes. The singing and dancing overall was good . The pace was somewhat even throughout so sharper cue bite in some scenes would have made it slicker. Director Mandy Morrish, M.D Will Cahill and Choreographers Chloe Gilbert, Mandy Morrish and Harrison Southgate, must be well-pleased with the end result.  It was overall an extremely enjoyable evening. Thank you for inviting me to join you.