Qdos is known for pulling out all the stops with its pantos. Big names, sumptuous sets and spectacular stage effects have almost become par for the course, with the Opera House productions usually standing among their biggest and best.
But this year’s pantomime is impressive even by Qdos standards. Snow White isn’t the most seamless fit for panto, but Guy Unsworth’s enjoyable production keeps things moving at a refreshingly fast lick, ensuring that none of the many comedy routines outstay their welcome and making good use of a slickly choreographed ensemble.
Craig Revel Horwood initially struggles to bring more than his familiar Strictly persona to the role of villainess Lucretia, despite an inflated stage time and well-sung musical numbers. But he grows in stature the more he gets to bounce off his co-stars. Of these, Eric Potts achieves a lot with a relaxed, restrained performance as Dame Nora, while Ben Nickless’ Muddles – with his use of Alexa and up-to-date vocal impressions – provides a modern take on a tried and tested old-school style of comedy.
But the show’s biggest achievement is finding enough time for Zoe George and Joshua St Clair to connect as an engaging Snow White and her prince, and opportunities for the cleverly realised dwarfs to show off their vocal prowess.