10 December to 8 January 2017
Reviewed by Christine Charlesworth
On Tuesday 13th December 2016 I took my daughter to see ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs’ at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. The fun started even before we arrived at our seats. In the ladies toilet we could hear the gentle tapping of picks deep inside a mine, with the occasional rumble of a rock fall. The main staircase was decked with camouflage netting, giving the impression of walking down, deep into a forest. While strolling round to the staircase we took time to admire the different mirrors on the wall, but suddenly one of the mirrors came to life with a face talking to us – pure magic of course. We continued downstairs and, seeing the signs ‘DANGER’ ‘KEEP OUT’ and ‘DIAMOND MINE’ we avoided the mine shaft, which was a good job as no sooner had we walked past than there was a huge explosion and smoke and dust billowed out making us both jump to one side.
Inside the theatre we had excellent seats and were surrounded by a packed audience of all ages. The set was tastefully bright and glittery and the excitement was running high. In fact, during the performance I was not sure if the two middle aged men next to my daughter were making as much, if not more, noise than the children sitting behind and in front of us. Everyone, of all ages, entered into the spirit of pantomime as soon as the performance started.
The wicked ‘Queen Morgiana’, played by Anne Smith, is truly a very evil-minded person, who the audience loved to hate. We were introduced to Snow White at a young age and during the dancing at her birthday celebration the transition between the young and older ‘Snow White’, played by Melissa Potts, takes place, which was extremely well choreographed. This pantomime has 8 adult dancers and also two teams of juvenile dancers. The choreography throughout the production was excellent, thanks to Ashley Nottingham. Congratulations should also go to Rachel Dingle for the superb costumes and colour schemes throughout the production.
‘Muddles’, played by Chris Cox, was loved by the audience as soon as he walked onto the stage and Andy Ford played a very loveable ‘Herman the Henchman’ with jokes to please all ages and at all levels, sometimes bordering on the risqué but never enough for anyone to take offence. There was also plenty of local humour and local place name-dropping.
The seven dwarfs, led by Warwick Davis as ‘Prof’, stole our hearts as soon as they appeared from among the audience. Unfortunately, on Tuesday they were one dwarf short of seven, due to illness. However, we were very pleased to hear that Warwick Davis had the ‘force’ to be with us in the pantomime, in spite of it being the Gala Premier of Star Wars in London.
Simeon Dyer took the part of ‘Cheeky’ as Peter Bonner was ill, Jon Key played ‘Grumbly’ (and was very grumbly), Harrison Jones as ‘Blusher’ seemed to revel in being on stage for his first production, Hayley Burroughs as ‘Snoozy’ celebrated her 20th pantomime part and Annabelle Davis as ‘Loopy’ gave the audience a treat with her impersonation of Mikael Jackson.
This production of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ was directed by Warwick Davis and written by Eric Potts, Warwick Davis and Andy Ford. It is the most tastefully colourful pantomime I have seen, is fun-packed, has very active audience participation and is a great night out for all ages. My only criticism is that, unfortunately, the amplification is too loud and on occasions the music drowns out the words of the songs.
Look out for the really great surprise in the finale.
Tickets cost from £14 to £45.50 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs is at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until 8 January 2017. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7645.
New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6GQ