Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
Director: Michael Chapman
Writer: Michael Chapman
Review for Opening Night
The Epstein Christmas panto is gaining quite the reputation for being the ‘must-see’ of the festive period in Liverpool, and this year’s offering of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is no different.
The story follows Snow White (Mia Molloy) and a chance meeting with Prince Valiant (Alex Patmore) sets both their hearts racing, however this raises the ire of Snow White’s wicked step-mother, The Queen (Kim Woodburn).
After escaping The Queen and one of her diabolical schemes, Snow White, with help from Fairy Goodheart (Claire Simmo), seeks refuge with Seven Dwarfs…..but this being a scouse panto, these aren’t your typical fairy-tale little men. There is Snotty, Soft-Lad, and the rather posh, Woolly-Back, (he’s from the Wirral) to name but a few. Throw into the mix a very untraditional panto dame in the guise of Dame Debbie (Michael Chapman), lovable sidekick Muddles (Lewis Pryor), an evil Henchmen (Daryl Holden) and a special appearance by Derek Acorah as the Magic Mirror. In addition, there are some fantastic songs and some brilliantly choreographed dance routines, and you have the recipe for a perfect panto.
This was a riot from start to finish, filled with jokes for children and adults of all ages. Never taking itself too seriously, the show is packed with moments of slapstick and family friendly jokes, with a hefty dose of innuendo that never becomes coarse or vulgar. This is Snow White with a scouse twist, with plenty of gags and phrases that will resonate with locals (I’ll be doing most of my Christmas shopping with Scally the Dwarf).
Top billing for the show goes to Kim Woodburn and Derek Acorah, however there is so much more to this show. The whole cast work their socks off throughout, with intricate song and dance numbers that include Mr Blue Sky, Killer Queen, and Devil Woman.
Michael Chapman is outstanding as the sassiest, most gangster panto dame I’ve ever seen, and pretty much steals every scene he’s involved with. Lewis Pryor shows what a good all-round talented performer he is, whilst Mia Molloy is perfectly cast as our heroine with a beautiful voice.
There are a few minor issues: the action seems to take a bit of a lull midway through the first act, and there were a few misplaced lines here and there but all in all this is a fantastic, fun family show which will leave all the family entertained and is excellent value for money. Now where did I leave my trainers?!
Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs is on at the Epstein Theatre until Wednesday 2nd January, tickets available here.