Snow White at the New Wimbledon Theatre is fun, frippery nonsense with high production values performed by an immensely talented cast. It is everything a Christmas pantomime should be and more. Just the thing to warm an audience on a cold winter’s night and to send them back into the real world feeling happier. Some were even dancing at the end.
Ruthie Henshall, second to none with her ability and experience in musicals, is powerful and fun, enjoyably playing her central role as the show’s baddie, Snow White’s stepmother. Lee Mead, as Snow White’s Prince Lee of Lambeth, is another excellent performer with significant experience in musicals. Both these two know their abilities and there is never a moment in this show when you do not know them too. Hannah Lowther, as Princess Snow White, is a charming foil for them.
Matthew Kelly also knows how to do his turn and how to egg on an audience as Mrs Nelly Nightnurse. He makes this look easy but it isn’t.
A revelation among all this top talent is Brenda Edwards as the Spirit of Pantomime, dressed as a fairy. How wonderfully she can sing. Even when she is singing about something entirely frivolous she makes it gorgeous.
The sets keep changing but there is always colour and glitter. The ensemble dancers are terrific and the choreography by Paul Robinson always manages the different spaces as each successive set is peeled away to reveal yet another. There’s a live orchestra of 5 musicians as another joy.
There are also the ‘seven’ little people, no longer referred to as dwarfs. They are captivatingly played by male actors moving around the stage on their knees wearing clever costumes in front of which short puppet legs dangle while the true size of their bodies is concealed by enveloping capes.
The show runs as a series of scenes, usually centred around a song. The jokes are corny, perhaps too corny but everyone does laugh, some uproariously. Some of the funniest moments seem not scripted, taking place as witty interactions with the audience. Pre-arranged? Maybe. In which case they’ll be there to enjoy every night.
If there is a weak link in this show it is the scripted jokes in between the music. By the time this might be noticed the audience is however thoroughly onside and enjoying themselves so it doesn’t matter. One does have to wonder though why there are so many ageist and sexist jokes about older women, no longer aged just 21 like Snow White. Why, though any other form of ism is unacceptable even in pantomime, does this remain an acceptable target group? The utterly magnificent Ruthie Henshall is the onstage target of these jibes but the many older women in the audience know these do also spill over to them. And why should small boys in the audience be taught that such expressed contempt can be treated as funny?
Otherwise, this is an exceptionally lovely, very happy show and it is highly recommended for adults and children alike.
Review Marian Kennedy
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, don’t miss the fairest pantomime of them all!
West End Legend and multi-award-winning actor Ruthie Henshall leads our star cast alongside X Factor singer, actress and television personality Brenda Edwards, musical theatre star Lee Mead, legendary panto Dame and TV presenter Matthew Kelly, comedy television presenters Dick & Dom, Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist John Archer and TikTok sensation Hannah Lowther.
Wimbledon audiences are in for a panto treat this Christmas. Don’t miss out or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror!
Produced by Crossroads Pantomimes, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the perfect Christmas treat for your family.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at New Wimbledon Theatre from Sunday 4th December, 2022 to Saturday 31st December, 2022.