Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs review at Pavilion Theatre, Worthing – ‘pop-filled commercial panto’
Worthing Theatres’ annual Christmas show has established itself as a pop-filled commercial panto with some of the spirit of community theatre.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs stages hits by the likes of Rag’n’Bone Man and Little Mix while cracking local jokes about Portslade. It features national talent – the comedy duo from CBeebies’ Swashbuckle, Jo Brand (on video) as the Mirror – as well as dozens of local children as the dwarves and forest fairies. This year it also has the nostalgia factor in the form of Chesney Hawkes, who plays Snow White’s royal suitor with a red electric guitar and a face that doesn’t appear to have aged a minute since 1991.
Hawkes is curiously humourless, even when being propelled across the stage on a skateboard while sending up Rick Astley. He’s also out-sung by X-Factor alumni Niki Evans as Queen Grizelda and Cassie Compton as Snow White, with their impressive solo takes on Nina Simone’s Feeling Good and Queen’s Somebody to Love. But when he dutifully whips out The One And Only at the start of Act II, Chezza justifies his position on the festive cheese board.
Simon Howe, as the Dame, is built like a brickie and fairly workmanlike with his gags. Subtler, or at least more creatively silly humour, comes from Richard David-Caine as Griselda’s German henchman “und” tax collector, ‘Orrible Herman. Meanwhile, painted scenery and fabric projections shift us from throne room to forest to diamond mine, laying down just enough fairytale atmosphere beneath the Top 40 sparkle.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.