Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs review at Wyvern Theatre, Swindon – ‘a let-down after recent Swindon successes’
Rumours that Adam Woodyatt – for 30 years now the miserably put-upon Ian Beale in the BBC’s EastEnders – had been contracted to play Grumpy in this year’s Swindon pantomime have proved unfounded. Instead, he has been cast as the Wicked Queen’s henchman Chambers, with Horsham-based producers One from the Heart taking the controversial line of using juvenile dancers as the dwarfs.
There is little evidence, though, that they have diverted any of the money saved on salaries to boost the rest of the show. Sets and costumes are nothing special, and the music is an ear-piercing succession of tuneless pop songs. Woodyatt himself appears decidedly undercooked as a top-of-the-bill performer, and although you can’t blame the team of juveniles, they make minimum impact as surrogate dwarfs.
One innovation that does work is using Christopher McKay’s lively Man in the Mirror to lead the audience participation. However, both David Ashley’s Nurse Nelly and Jenny-Ann Topham’s Wicked Queen could do with new material, while Sophie Camble in the title role struggles to escape the deafening score.
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