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Snow White

by on 12 March 2022

Troll Models

Snow White

by Ben Crocker

Questors at the Judi Dench Playhouse, Ealing until 27th March

Review by Nick Swyft

What did you miss at Christmas?   Was it the song and dance, men dressed as women and women dressed as men?  Was it cries of ‘he’s behind you!’ and the riotous audience participation?  Was it a classic tale of an oppressed child making good in the end?  Due to pandemic restrictions Questors lost the chance to give us all this.  Nevertheless, undeterred, they gave us an excellent and colourful panto for spring (not yet Easter).

If you love panto, you will love this panto’s whacky ideas, and there were plenty of them.  Everybody enjoyed the ambiguous casting and the exuberant colourful and imaginative costumes.   Panto staples, yes, but here taken a notch further.

Snow White was played by Rianna Sam-Kubam, who was having great fun with the role and clearly enjoying herself.  She is a great performer with a good voice, as her moving duet with Prince Freddy, played by Caitlyn Vary, showed.   Perhaps there was a subtle ‘bluesy’ tone to her voice.  If so, it will hopefully be developed.  As a counter to that, Danny Dolittle played by Quinn Goodliffe, treated us to a great comedy rendering of the Elvis Costello classic Is She Really Going out with Him.

The cast included a wide range of ages, which was brilliant for both the cast and the audience.  Older actors played the normal suspects – the evil Queen Caligula (Sam Moran), the dame Mrs Dolittle (Derek Stoddart) and the incompetent henchmen Bogwort and Stinkwort (Mark Redrup and Robert Vass) very convincingly, bringing their own unique characters to these parts, and providing great role models (!) for the youngsters.

Replacing the seven dwarves by trolls, in deference to modern sensibilities, was seamless.  These were based on the plastic toys with fluorescent hair, of course, not the traditional ugly creatures that hide under bridges.  The presentation of the team of Half Pint, Grim, Chuckles, Sniffy, Dozy and Snoozy and…  Alan (?!)  was inspired.

So this production did not appear in time for Christmas.  It is well worth breaking tradition and going to see it anyway.

Nick Swyft, March 2022

Photography by Carla Marker

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