Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Like an unruly bottle of Christmas fizz this Panto popped and sparkled in all the right places. And plenty of the wrong ones. The sentence ‘Macbiehill – watch yer bags everyone’ is not a sentence you’ll hear very often. Of Champagne Moments there were plenty: Nurse May’s (Alan Stewart) Prawn & Crab joke may be an old one but the punchline neatly utilised the richness of the local dialect, steamin’ and reekin’ being interchangeable for one who’s drunk, or just plain smelly… Lucifer’s (Grant Stott) song, nay, homage, to the Edinburgh Tram works was a release for those inconvenienced – meaning everyone in Edinburgh – for the last no-one-knows-how-many-years… the shirt-sleeves routine… the riotous 12 Days Of Xmas caper… Muddles’ (Jordan Young) précis of the entire show up to halfway… but nothing could top the appearance of Mrs Incredible (neé Elastigirl), a moment worth waiting for and a memory that will be difficult to erase.

The show is set in Auchtereekie (see above) and apparently had a director, Ed Curtis, but overwhelmingly this felt like the Stewart & Stott show. Which is far from a criticism as the two-hander patter scenes were amongst the most entertaining for audience members in possession of more decades, some of the references stretching back to the 60’s. For younger members of the audience there was a flying Sleigh (helmed by a confused Muddles/Dougal-from-Father Ted) and a terrifying Dragon menaced the air in front of the circle (and probably accounted for the odd missed heartbeat in the stalls), as Queen Dragonella wrestled with the controls. Not forgetting liberal doses of slapstick and scatology essential to the genre. Script-wise, Lucifer’s frequent descents into song lyrics were a joy and might yet provoke a round of pub quiz questions. Or at the least the makings of a ‘spot-the-lyric’ drinking game. Tune in to Stott’s radio show if you fancy a head-start.

As a production it was lavish, loud and extravagant, brimming with Christmas brio, the sets, costumes and lighting only outdone at the end by a surfeit of sequins and glitter as the cast made their bows. There may have been someone in from Macbiehill but clearly no-one from Livingston to celebrate the moment an away shirt (season 21/22 vintage) eclipsed the Stott-annotated Hearts top.

Playing until 22 January 2023, https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/all-shows/the-kings-panto-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/54

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 21st December 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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