Snow White and the Seven Minions in Saffron Walden's pantomime

PUBLISHED: 10:37 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:37 15 January 2018

Snow White, beware of old ladies

Snow White, beware of old ladies

Saffron Photo 2017

Saffron Walden has been brought firmly into the modern era by Saffron Players with this year's panto, Snow White. You may look as hard as you like, but there's not a dwarf to be seen anywhere.

Instead, Snow White finds her way to a cottage inhabited by mischievous Minions who do their disorganised and rather hopeless best to protect her from her Wicked Stepmother.

The entire cast and production crew so obviously have a ball with this one that their infectious enthusiasm quickly spills out into the audience and has all of the youngsters (and their parents) captivated. There’s plenty of traditional audience participation (oh yes there is) and the children in particular, seem very eager to help out as narrator Billy (Rachel Crane), is constantly tormented by the Cake Bandit (Olivia Knight).

Jonathan Scripps absolutely owns the stage as Snow White’s Wicked Stepmother, managing to be both terrifying and hilarious at the same time. His many disguises transform his appearance time after time, but even the little ones never fail to realise it’s him - or should that be her?

Snow White herself is the one truly traditional (if, by traditional, you mean “Disney”) part of the show. Dressed in recognisable costume, and beautifully played by Frayr Bridgeman to be both vulnerable and loving you just can’t help worrying for her safety throughout the evening.

With plenty of local references (very brave of you Waitrose), hopeless huntsmen, woodland animals, madcap Minions and plenty of songs and dances, this is the perfect way for youngsters to start the year. Oh, and there are just a couple of rather more adult jokes that thankfully fly right over the children’s heads.

Finally, special mention must be made of Rob Fernall’s performance as The Mirror. With his cadaverous appearance (well done the makeup artists) and his politely restrained insolence, he manages to pull off the difficult trick of being not only by far the creepiest thing in the show, but also one of the good guys.

Thoroughly recommended.

Snow White is at Saffron Walden Town Hall on Friday, January 19 and Saturday, January 20.

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