Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Manchester Opera House

WHEN it comes to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel there's no bigger panto villain than Craig Revel Horwood.

So it was never in doubt that the TV star would be anything other than fab-u-lous darling after taking on the role of wicked Queen Lucretia in Manchester Opera House's version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

The 54-year-old Australian-British dancer, director and choreographer is magnificent as the baddie and completely at home in drag, and while Snow White takes the title name it is evidently CRH who is given the star treatment.

He is in fine voice as he takes centre stage with numerous musical numbers, culminating in a captivating and cha-cha-charming performance of My Way.

Knutsford Guardian:

Ben Nickless as Muddles and Craig Revel Horwood as wicked Queen Lucretia Pictures: Phil Tragen 2019

Zoe George and Joshua St Clair are excellent as Snow White and Prince Harry, but as is generally the case with pantomimes the biggest laughs are reserved for Panto Dame Nora Crumble (Eric Potts) and the brilliant Muddles (Ben Nickless), with plenty of poo references for the kids and double entendres and innuendo in abundance to keep the grown ups happy.

All the old panto favourites feature including risque tongue-twisters and a highly entertaining rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas, while Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Prince Andrew are also taken to task in hilarious fashion.

The only niggle in this otherwise excellently staged show is the 'Madchester'-style 'ave it' and 'proper buzzin' dialect used by the dwarves which felt dated and left some theatregoers cringing at times.

Knutsford Guardian:

Zoe George plays Snow White in the Opera House show

That aside, the overall success of a good panto always lies in the ability of the cast to portray numerous comedy mishaps as being accidental instead of meticulously planned.

And that's certainly true in this case, with falling stage curtains, exploding speakers and loo rolls landing in the audience manufactured with hilarious results.

My 11 and nine-year-olds laughed hysterically throughout (as did I) and that innocent joy is surely what Christmas is all about.

Craig may not dish out many 10s but this show certainly deserves top marks, and after the political madness of the past few weeks you'll be hard pressed to find a better festive pick me up.

Star rating: *****

  • The show runs until December 29 with tickets priced from £12. Click here to book.

Knutsford Guardian:

The evil queen gets to grips with Prince Harry