Panto convention is unwittingly turned on its head at Cumbernauld as evil overcomes good in a pantomime that has some great ideas but no idea of how to use them.
Of course, the winning force for evil is not the brilliantly cackling wicked stepmother (Zoe Chatterton). Neither does Imogen Toner’s risibly cut-glass English accented Snow White eventually succumb. No, the evil is the panto’s use of a pre-recorded tape to set the scene. It sucks all the goodness and heart from the storytelling which remains.
Replacing Disney’s dwarfs with Johnny Austin and James McAnerney’s treasure hunting elves - Hamish and Hamish McHamish - is a fine idea. In director Ed Robson’s reality, however, their slapstick is too slow and accents are inconsistent. Darran Lightbody’s camp, fashionista Mirror is superbly created and pitched - only to be undone when the production’s structure leaves the audience participation to spiral out of control.
Robson’s design looks fantastic in the tight space, but is too pernickety to survive the robust nature of the form.
The sorrow is that there are great ideas here, the plot has a couple of exciting innovations and the performances bring out moments of pure joy. All of which are undone by the script’s structural failings.