Pantomime season kicked off on Tuesday 4th December with the cast of Snow White taking to the stage for the launch of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Hanley’s Regent theatre.

First on stage was the cruel and cunning step-mother, the evil queen played by Debbie Chapman, instantly commanding Boo’s and Hisses from the audience and boy, did she enjoy her performance.

Katie Elin-Salt is perfect for the role of the sweet and innocent Snow White and although it is only her second time starring in a pantomime, she already has a good grasp of how the format works. Often referred to as ‘lush’ given her obvious Welsh roots, she delivered a great performance and helped carry the comedy element throughout.

Of course, no Panto is complete without the dashing hero, and of course, in true (and almost traditional) Stoke On Trent fashion, Jonathan Wilkes bursts onto the stage as the queens jester Muddles. Jonathan’s singing and dancing skills did surprise me and he took to the part giving 100%, as well as cracking jokes well worthy of Panto.

Humour galore throughout the performance and should you wish to see seven dwarfs fight off a zombie apocalypse set to the music of Michael Jackson’s thriller then this is certainly the show for you.

Herman the henchman (Christian Patterson) plays up his part with vigour and engages the audience throughout and the level of innuendo is cleverly embedded. Unlike some panto’s, this is clearly aimed at a family audience and although some of the jokes generate an adult snigger or two your children are safe in this environment.

The supporting cast gave everything and the dwarfs were simply fantastic, including their reforming of Take That with Jonathan. As for my overall thoughts, it’s a polished production that any family would be well advised to attend and has gone so far as to re-light my fire (no pun intended) in the continued tradition of panto.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will runs until Sunday, January 5. Tickets and further information are available from the Regent box office on 0844 871 7649.

Alistair Pirie



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