REVIEW: Snow White is a snow wonder

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Snow White
The cast of Snow White at The Hexagon, Reading

From the moment this year’s Hexagon pantomime opens to the moment the curtain finally comes down on over two hours of fun, Snow White is entertaining, enchanting and magical.

Once again, Imagine Theatre have excelled themselves in producing a family-friendly show that is packed with laughs, big songs and something for all the family. From the youngest to the oldest, this is a fantastic night out that everyone will love.

Snow White is one of the big pantos, telling the tale of a jealous Queen who wants to kill her stepdaughter simply for being fairer than her. Thankfully, the man tasked with the deed (in this case Justin Fletcher’s Jingles the Jester) can’t carry out his orders and instead leaves Snow White lost in the forest where she is saved by seven dwarves.

When the Queen finds out, being a bad apple herself, she creates one to kill Snow White, tricking the young beauty to take a deathly bite. But Prince Michael, her true love, revives Snow White and all the goodies live happily ever after.

A big show, with a big cast … including Justin Fletcher!

It’s a big show and requires a big cast: thankfully The Hexagon has once again teamed up CBeebies superstar (and genuine nice guy) Justin ‘Mr Tumble’ Fletcher and dame extraordinaire Paul Morse.

The pair make a formidable double act, especially during the silliness of the messy kitchen cake scene and, joined by Prince Michael (Karl Loxley) for a riff on the 12 Days of Christmas in act two. This 12 Days routine is hilarious and, with much larking about, brings the house down. It’s worth booking a ticket just to see this set.

Morse, as Dame Dolly Mixture, has a wonderful wardrobe and a brilliant way with words. He makes the audience howl with laughter with ad libs, barbed remarks and corny jokes.

Justin, of course, also has his funny lines as he’s playing a jester: whether slapstick, serious or interacting with the youngsters brought on for the singalong, he is a genius on stage, a deft performer who has a real gift for entertaining.

Loxley, playing Prince Michael, is a real talent. His singing is familiar to viewers of The Voice, but he also creates a sympathetic and believable leading man for Snow White to fall in love with.

Snow White is playing by the beautiful Sarah Accomando, a real talent who shines in her big numbers.

The Wicked Queen is New Yorker Katie Cameron. As the only baddie in the show (her henchmen come from the dance crew), she has to chew much of the scenery all by herself, something she does with aplomb: the audience were booing her from the opening scene.

But what about Snow White’s dwarves?

Snow White
The cast of The Hexagon’s Snow White

The elephant in the room is the dwarves. The budget doesn’t stretch to employing a full set of vertically challenged actors, so Imagine have asked us to use our imagination. The solution is neat: Avenue Q-style puppets powered by the dance team. It works incredibly well and also gives the talented dance team the chance to have a well deserved moment in the spotlight. It would have been nice to have had at least one more scene with them and Snow White.

Snow White
Sarah Accomando as Snow White

Credit must also be given to the children dancing. They have a constant run of complex dances to memorise. Throughout the show, they always hit their marks, never stopped smiling and enhanced every scene.

Over the past few years, Imagine have brought to The Hexagon brilliant shows that follow the panto formula: big dance numbers with amazing choreography, brilliant costumes, fantastic sets and all the panto staples.

The two-and-a-half hours fly by. The pace is fantastic and the direction top notch. There are no duff notes, just lots of laughs and a magical introduction to theatre for youngsters.

Snow White is a snow wonder – another mega hit for The Hexagon and a real Christmas treat.

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