Our 2015 production was Snow White and the 7 Dwarves and ran from 28th -31st January 2015. Another successful show with 6 performances. Marianne Bullen was Snow White, with Samantha Thorpe as Prince Rupert. Queen Malevolent was played by Corinna and Steve Perry was a superb Dame Doitall.
Reviewer: Sue Hartwell NODA East District 7 Representative
In the words of Mark Hutley, Little Hallingbury Panto Group’s Chairman, it was “heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to panto we go” for this year’s offering of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, by Stephen Duckham, from the NODA collection. The village hall was packed with enthusiastic and expectant supporters, who greatly enjoy the annual panto organised and performed by this team of talented people from the local community. And what a good time we had!
A pleasing interior representation of Queen Malevolent’s throne room and ballroom, complete with magnificently hand-painted coat of arms, augmented by a nicely presented interior of the dwarfs’ cottage, were the two main scene sets, designed by Bill and Veronika Williams, with other “scenes” played out in front of the stage curtains, with suitable props provided by Mel and David Robarts. This worked well and ensured the pace was slick throughout the performance, thanks to Stage Manager Ralph Thompson and his crew.
I was very impressed by the lighting gantry that had been installed, complete with projected “magic mirror” and lightning effects, all well controlled by Gordon Clarke and his team, with Chris Rohrer ensuring that everything was on cue with the sound effects and amplification for the dialogue.
Musical Director Philip Hays entertained us with a selection of popular music to help things along during the evening and gave good support to the cast, both with their solos and ensemble numbers, which had all been well-chosen to intersperse the action.
And what a strong and enthusiastic cast! Corinna Cranch was deliciously devilish as the evil Queen, determined to stay as the most beautiful woman in the land and remove her step-daughter Snow White, who stood in her way. Corinna must also be complimented on “rising above” the heckling from some members of the audience!
Marianne Bullen gave us a delightful and confident performance as Snow White, with a pure singing voice. Alan Townsend well-portrayed the fretful Lord Chamberlain and Mark Hutley and Richard Fountain provided much of the laughter as Handy and Andy, the court jesters. Steve Perry almost stole the show with his larger-than-life performance as Dame Doitall, Snow White’s nanny! His first entrance, with run-away shopping trolley, complete with flashing headlamps, and police siren sound effects, was hilarious.
Samantha Thorpe was suitably regal as Prince Rupert and showed real concern in her portrayal of a young man in love, when Snow White goes missing as a result of the Queen hypnotising her trusted huntsman, played by David Allum, and ordering him to lure Snow White into the forest and kill her. The scenes with the seven dwarfs were well choreographed and their individual personalities were nicely characterised, particularly by Keith Brown as Chief and Chris Carey as Growler. The community song with the audience was a particular high-light and had everyone joining in. The small chorus of villagers and other characters added their weight to the performance, too.
As with all good pantomimes, all ends happily, with the wicked Queen suitably despatched and the royal wedding finale a rousing chorus. With a colourful and authentic costume, plot and make-up which admirably complimented the characters, this was another fine performance to keep in the memory of what British pantomime is really all about. Well done all!