Theatre Royal Theatre Square NG1 5ND To 11 January 2015.

1.30pm 9-12, 14, 16-18, 21, 24, 28, 31 Dec, 4, 7-9, 11 Jan.
2.30pm 13, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30 Dec, 2, 3, 10 Jan.
5.30pm 24, 31 Dec.
6pm 14, 21, 28 Dec, 4, 11 Jan.
7.15pm 9-13, 16-18, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30 Dec, 2, 3, 6-10 Jan.
Audio-described 14 Dec 1.30pm, 3 Jan 2.30pm.
BSL Signed 13 Dec 2.30pm, 16 Dec 1.30pm, 9 Jan 7.15pm.
Captioned 4 Jan 1.30pm.
Relaxed Performance 7 Jan 1.30pm.
Runs 2hr 35min One interval.

TICKETS: 0115 989 5555.
Review: Alan Geary 7 December.

With reservations, this one gets the thumbs up.
Unsurprisingly, a packed house of all ages enjoyed this Snow White. It starts interestingly with a prologue enacting the back-story in dumb show. Thereafter it’s one entertaining item of interest after the other. There are the obligatory local allusions to start with – for instance, swipes are taken at the no doubt excellent Bulwell Academy and at nearby Mansfield.

The traditional fairy-tale plot is certainly over-distorted. It’s structured round stand-out star Lesley Joseph, playing the wicked Queen Lucretia – because of the Birds of a Feather link, the face in her mirror just happens to be Pauline Quirke’s. Lucretia comes in on a chariot, attended by her grovelling henchmen.

In a show of spectacular scenery it’s Lucretia’s den which is the most spectacular location. Likewise her collection of evil creatures; they are given the most amazing costumes of the pantomime, sufficient, in fact, to frighten some of the audience too much for enjoyment. At one point a dragon breathing fire, a realistic one, rears up and comes out over the auditorium.

Andrew Ryan’s Nurse Nelly, with her outlandish costumes and terrible gags, is terrific. Early on she singles out poor Lee in the front seats to be her boyfriend. And she comes up with old favourites like the one where she’s asked “Did you see the gipsy’s camp?” “No, they looked quite butch really,” she replies.

Ben Nickless, with his silly down-at-heel voice, plays Muddles splendidly. One of the very best things of the evening is a wickedly clever vocal and visual impression of a damaged Elvis recording of ‘It’s Now or Never’.

The seven dwarfs are done well, so well that they sustain the illusion of lack of stature all through the show.

It’s an accomplished song and dance panto. The Snow White (Emilie Du Leslay)/Prince (Sam Attwater) duets are super. So is ‘YMCA’, done by Nurse Nelly and company. The traditional Twelve Days of Christmas routine is brilliantly funny.

It’s not just that, mercifully, the children-going-up-on-stage to-be-interviewed spot is dispensed with – that’s always a potential embarrassment. This panto gets the thumbs up for all sorts of reasons.

Queen Lucretia: Lesley Joseph.
The Prince: Sam Attwater.
Muddles: Ben Nickless.
Nurse Nelly: Andrew Ryan.
Snow White: Emilie Du Leslay.
The Seven Dwarfs: Andrew Walker, Louis Rayneau, Ryan Willis, Sam Stay, Francis Fleury, Max Abraham and Michael Magennis.
Ensemble: Kara Cole, James Davies, Lucie-Marie Fitzgerald, Katie Gofton, Joe Hunt, Lowri Jackson, Elias Schinas, Flori Valdo Mossi.
Babes: The Theatre Royal Babes.

Director: Ken Alexander.
Lighting: Matt Clutterham.
Choreographer: Christian Storm.
Musical Director: Allan Rogers.
Sound: Adam McCready.

2014-12-09 03:30:12

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