Updated version of new Harrogate panto Snow White in full
Review: Snow White, Harrogate Theatre
There’s only one verdict people in Harrogate wait for at this time of year.
How good is this year’s panto at Harrogate Theatre?
The question isn’t a silly one, not only for the families and school children but for the theatre itself whose financial health, in part, depends on this success of this sell-out show each year.
If the evidence of the dress rehearsal of Snow White on Tuesday evening is anything to go by, the judgement is unanimous - this year’s pantomime is another spectacular hit.
This wonderful family-friendly production of Snow White begins, appropriately, with the voice of Harrogate panto legend Tim Stedman.
It’s the audience favourite’s 20th year in a row of appearing as the comedy interest and he remains as hilarious as ever in the role of Happy Harry, a non-stop, high energy ball of fun.
In fact, this year’s sparkling show is something of a Tim Stedman master class.
Particularly funny is the lengthy scene where he and the magical fairy (plot spoiler alert, the handyman disguised as a Scotsman played to perfection by Harrogate panto first-timer Pamela Dwyer) pay homage to the era of silent comedy in a lengthy piece of slapstick worthy of Laurel and Hardy.
Scripted for the 11th year running by the theatre’s dynamic duo of David Bown and Phil Lowe, this updated version of the famous fairytale is intelligent without being too clever, silly without being vulgar, imaginative and entertaining from start to finish.
Rather than plot complications or complex set-pieces, this year’s show, as directed expertly by Phil Lowe for the 13th year, focuses on providing good old-fashioned entertainment at every turn - and succeeds in spades.
Boasting superb sets awash in glitter created by designer Morgan Brind with the aid of Harrogate Theatre’s own scenic services department and wonderfully lit by lighting designer Rachel Sampley, it’s no wonder the Harrogate panto won a national award last year in the Great British Pantomime Awards.
This one certainly deserves to be in the running again.
The cast is superb from top to bottom, from Zelina Rebeiro charming in the title role of Snow White, Colin Kiyani as the suitably dashing and handsome Prince Lee to the deliciously nasty and naughty Polly Smith as the Evil Queen.
Supporting local talent, the large company includes members of Harrogate Youth Theatre while the young dancers hail from a range of local dance and secondary schools in the Harrogate district.
There’s song and dance courtesy of musical director Nick Lacey and choreographer David Lee, bags of imagination and plenty of positive vibes for these tough times - plus an ingenious way of presenting the seven dwarves without risking offence.
Full of in-jokes about the Stray and cycling events, this wonderful show even finds space to give a brief but promiment role to the Harrogate Advertiser.
Put simply, Snow White is the funniest in a recent run of very funny Harrogate pantos.
What more could you want?
It would be wrong to focus on the performances of Snow White’s two main regular comic turns, Tim Stedman the clown and the fabulous Howard Chadwick as the extravagantly costumed Dame No Nonsense Nora but it’s Tim’s 20th year and Howard is always brilliant, too, and, well, they deserve it.
Oh yes they do!
Snow White runs at Harrogate Theatre until January 19, 2020.
Tickets are going fast with sell-out notices appearing already for some of the panto dates.
To book in advance, go online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk, visit Harrogate Theatre’s box office in person or call 01423 502116.