I have a confession to make. I have been to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs TWICE in four days. Yep. I am about to give you the low down on one of the best nights in Aylesbury, so get your specs on and pay attention. Before I get started though, does anyone else agree that the correct plural of dwarf is dwarves?!
This years production at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is truly a “who’s who” of pantomime royalty. Su Pollard steals the show as the wicked queen, clawing desperately onto her title as “the fairest in all the land”. Her cackle is unrivalled by any baddie I’ve ever heard, and her exceptional singing would lure any unsuspecting prince to their doom. It was an absolute honour to meet her after the show – luckily she is far nicer off stage than as her evil character the Queen. Old Queenie has quite the hots for new boy on the block Jon Moses, and he is the most perfectly cast “Prince Frederick of Fairford Leys” any princess could possibly ever wish for. His cut glass vocals, chiselled jaw and dazzling smile see him sweeping radiantly through the show, a hero to the end. Jon’s voice is utterly beautiful and he wouldn’t be out of place in a Disney movie – big thumbs up from me.
No self respecting cast would be seen dead without a high class panto dame in its ranks, and the lusty La Voix provides more glamour and innuendo than the Eurovision song contest. Her outfits are fabulous, her lipstick is on point and she is a flawless companion for that silly sausage Muddles. Talking of which, Aylesbury panto would be nothing without the absolute maverick we know and love.. the one and only Andy Collins! This year he joins us as the faithful “Muddles”, a colourful character who keeps the energy at an all time high with his kind hearted buffoonery. The audience come to life as soon as they hear his catchphrase“when I say Muddles..”, but can he manage to find all the pots and pans in time to sing the 12 days of Christmas song? You’ll have to wait and see!
The actress playing Snow White fulfils every child’s expectation of what a downtrodden princess should look like. Jenna Innes is gentle, beautiful, and vocally outstanding, without tiptoeing towards becoming too sickly. She hits the high notes in a way that must have backstage vocal coaches pressing their hands together with unadulterated glee, what a show stopper she is. I hope to see her in some productions next year.
Last, but certainly by no means least are the incredible DWARVES (!) and the chorus. In a time where political correctness has gone slightly bonkers, I love that some “little people” were involved in the show in a way that poked some light hearted fun but didn’t become a derogatory car crash. My personal favourite was Soppy, his smiles and waves brightened up my day no end. The backing singers and dancers were all of extremely high calibre and add a richness to the show with their polished choreography.
The show is slick, professional and slightly naughty, ticking all the panto boxes with ease. There are plenty of well paced jokes, with a considered mixture to tickle the delight of younger audience members and give the adults a chuckle too. I don’t want to give too much away, so all I am going to say is……BISCUITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I can’t get it out of my head!)