Denise Nolan leads a strong cast in Broxbourne’s panto this year, which is rich in fun and variety. Her evil Queen Grizelda is rather camp and petulant, and a recorded cameo from Paul Daniels as the Mirror makes their interchanges highly enjoyable.
Victoria Scott’s Snow White inspires all the little girls in the audience with her beauty and charm, and John Wilding makes the most of a rather thin part as Prince Valiant. He is best in the slapstick scenes, joining in energetically with Dame Kitty Dumpling (Keith Hopkins, on sparkling form) and Michael Otton’s Pickles - together they ramp up the jokes and stimulate a high level of audience participation.
Otton also does a nice line in magic tricks, which add to both the fun and the sense of wonder, and this is enhanced by the Forest Fairy (Nikki Ionescu), who performs a stunning aerial silk gymnastic display.
Ross Lee as Herman the Henchman is endearingly changeable as he keeps switching sides but seems to enjoy the boos as much as the cheers.
At two and a half hours, this show is long and can feel repetitive on occasion, but its energy is unfailing, and young and old audiences alike will be hugely entertained.