What could be more apt than a pantomime dame actually standing for Parliament in this Thursday’s General Election? Daniel Page, who is fighting Labour-held Exeter as an independent for the Panto Party Party, on a ticket for a new 1,300-seater theatre for the city, may not win. But he certainly tops the poll at Exeter Corn Exchange, where they are celebrating 10 years of professional pantomime with a colourful rerun of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, their very first venture a decade ago.
With Page on board for a fifth year at the fittingly named Corn Exchange (this time as wicked Queen Belladonna), director Ian Berry has wisely leaned heavily on the laughter quotient, helped along by a couple of imaginative plot variations. Snow White (certainly not a snowflake as played by CBBC regular Ella Gilling) is revived, for example, by a kiss from James Trafford`s eco-friendly Frog Prince rather than Sean Mulkerrin’s narcistic Prince Vainglorious.
Page also has no less than three hyper-active comic stooges – Matt Finegan (Krusty the Butler), Keeley Cooper (Batty Betty) and Will Trafford (henchman Greebo). Cut by 20 minutes (the sing-along seems to last an eternity), this could well rank as the Corn Exchange’s top of the panto pops. Top of the political poll? Less likely, perhaps.