Snow white in the Seven Months of Lockdown (kingsheadtheatre.com)
Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown is a gloriously silly romp of a panto. Whilst it is a long way from the original story; Charles Court Opera delivers a joyful swipe at the problems of Covid and lockdown creating an hour long show with a family or adult version to choose from.

John Savournin's script is full of innuendo and sharp observations and whilst I watched the adult version, it was definitely a little less dangerous than anticipated.  The songs, expertly delivered by an unsurprisingly outstanding cast have gleeful nods to MT, Brit Pop and even Candle in the Wind; all created with kindness and respect by David Eaton. The company singing is musically complex and the harmonies are fabulous.

In this production Snow White (John Savournin) is the widow of Barry White; she lives with the Seven Dwarfs all played by Matthew Kellett. Snow White is visited by The Prince of Pretzel, Larry  (Emily Cairns)and his Valet, Harry (Meriel Cunningham.) There is fun, frog suits, explosions and poison pie - all of which is controlled through the gaze of The Wicked Queen, a gloriously camp baddie from Jennie Jacobs. The men in the mirror do a fine job too in the guise of Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard whilst Marcus Fraser is a fine Barry White. All is however suitably resolved and the covid safe "true love kiss" quite genial.

There is a quirkiness to the proceedings that allow audience interaction, commercial strap lines and just a feel good factor that is much needed right now.

The entire team have created a streamed event that has huge charm and a very big heart. There is so much warmth and care in this production that it is hard not to love it from beginning to end.

Being online may have modified the original plans for the 2020 panto from this excellent company however, the joy that this online event brings is a great big hug and smile to everyone missing their live events right now. The sense of community has rarely felt stronger.

Petra Schofield