The Millennium Forum’s smartly staged version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs successfully repackages the famous fairytale for a Derry-Londonderry audience.
The obligatory topical – Brexit, obviously – and pop culture references – Derry Girls, also obviously – are combined with popular tunes – everything from Disney to Ed Sheeran – witty wordplay and giant animal heads to create a universally appealing vibe.
Daniel O’Donnell appears via Facetime as the Magic Mobile, a giant smartphone coming down from above. This is one of several ingenious touches in the production written by David McLaughlin and directed by Jonathan Burgess.
William Caulfield’s Nurse Molly Coddle, Keith Lynch’s Muddles and Andrew Porter’s Herman are all on strong comic form, while Rachael O’Connor’s Snow White transcends her cartoony costume to give a performance of sweetness and pathos. She is an ideal foil to Conor O’Kane’s rather headstrong Prince Charming.
Best of all is Karen Hawthorne, redefining the Wicked Queen as an all-too-flawed human being. Though her hiss-worthy villain reacts unfavourably to having her spotlight stolen by a young pretender, she evolves, helping to make this Snow White into a more a recognisable and unexpectedly human take on a very familiar story.