This is a cheer-up family panto with pretty scenery, rousing song and dance numbers and a dedicated team of actors who work their socks off to give Chris Jaeger’s production life and energy.
Outside the lounge-bar windows, the River Severn flooded the car park in a watery wipe-out, but on-stage Snow White (Fiona McGregor reminding us of the Disney original) sang her heart out, her handsome Prince Valliant (the intrepid Paul Masters who also knows how to handle a song) was always on hand when things looked dodgy.
Ben Humphrey as the willfully naughty Queen Grizelda shows that he can manage panto drag like a seasoned trouper - no mean thing when you look at the size of Grizelda’s spiked heels - and glowers convincingly when the Magic Mirror (Chris Jaeger as the Voice) tells the uncomfortable truths which send the queen into vengeance mode, thus leaving some youngsters around me devastated as Snow White runs the risk of open-heart surgery of the most brutal kind at the hands of Herman the Henchman (Graeme Brookes who wouldn’t hurt a fly).
When Prince Valliant finally kissed her awake (thus dislodging the poisoned apple, Snow White’s second trauma at the hands of Grizelda) the cheers took the roof off.
The dwarfs, as ever these days, are the juveniles furnished with masks and click-track.
Nevertheless, they were cheered along and everybody responded to the cheerful drolleries of Muddles (Oliver Brooks), and Liz Grand’s doubling-up as Fairy Cupcake and Clara the Cook.