Review: Snow White, Buxton Opera House

You can always trust the team behind the Buxton Opera House pantomime to come up with a cracker of a show and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is no exception.

It’s a sparkling production celebrating all the traditions of panto with panache and it certainly thrilled the cheering and clapping youngsters in the audience.

Philip Dart is celebrating  his 25th anniversary as writer and director of the Buxton pantomime and yet again managed to conjour up a fresh and funny script.

picture1There were gags a-plenty from Dame Brenda Bakewell, played by James Holmes and the court jester Muddles played by Matthew Jay Ryan including a slapstick sketch involving Bake Off’s  Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Together with other members of the cast they also re-created hilarious scenes from the Sound of Music in a particularly memorable scene.

picture4Anna Stolli was fantastic as she flounced around the stage as the wicked Queen Belladonna, and Christopher Laishley as her sidekick Snivel was the star of the show for me.

picture12Zoe Littleton returned to Buxton to once again play the part of the good fairy. This time she was the backpack-wearing hillwalker – Flora, Spirit of the Peaks. Not quite as dippy as last year’s Essex girl Layla but there was definitely something of Bubble from Ab Fab in her voice and the audience loved her.

Hollyoaks’ Lucy Dixon, in lovely voice, was a perfect Snow White well-matched against her handsome Prince Tristan played by Brad Veitch.

The dwarf costumes were delightful and it was a great touch to have their characters matched to those from Dad’s Army.

As always there was terrific live music from the musicians in the pit led by Matt Pallant, plus some impressive effects and an energetic ensemble of dancers who have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years under the direction of Sally Brooks.

I say this every year, but if you want to see good old-fashioned pantomime in a fabulous setting then make sure you get yourself to Buxton. It is the one to which you can take your granny and still be sure of a great time.

The Spirit of the Mirror was played by Haydn Cox, the two teams of dwarfs are Jasmine Eloise Fenton, Milly Wright, Amber Rose Brocklehurst, Amber Pickering, Rupert Thomas, Terry Ann Wisdom, Charlotte Fleur Cross, Issy Campbell, Eva Ellis, Issy Martin, Chloe Elise Gilbert, Gabriel Vanterpool, Nathan Forrester and Henry Hodgkinson.

The dance teams were Ella Bond, Faye Bramley, Martha Burwood, Madi Crowther, Niamh Goulding Ansbro, Harriet Hall, Will Klieve, Bronte MacMillan, Neave Burns, Amelia Fitzgerald, Charlotte Gardner, Liberty Rose Hall, Charlie Hodgkinson, Libby Johnson, Eleri Macleod and Susy Phythian.