Snow White at Southampton Mayflower Theatre is pure panto magic
DYNAMIC dance routines, dazzling pyrotechnics and an utterly enchanting cast proved the perfect recipe for panto magic as the curtain lifted on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre.
Known for its lavish world class productions, particularly in recent years, this year’s Mayflower show starring Ashley Banjo and Diversity was no exception with incredible scenery and props to enhance the magic.
Unsurprisingly dance was a central element of the production with Diversity’s exceptional skills used to maximum effect in a dizzying array of routines that blended to deliver a visually stunning and dynamic show.
From the offset the audience were transported into a magical world filled with lavish props, gorgeous costumes, and captivating storytelling.
Ashley Banjo shines in the role of Prince Ashley, the love interest of Snow White, as he arrives early on in the action with his accompanying Royal Guard (the rest of the Diversity troupe) in a move away from the traditional fairy tale.
The story itself has many of the elements of Disney’s version of Snow White, including the Magnificent Seven played by a brilliant team of genuine dwarfs, but an unexpected twist near the end showed even fairy tales can be re-imagined sometimes!
Kirsty Ingram was lovely in the role of Snow White, singing and dancing beautifully as the she charmed everyone with her sweet nature. Bitterly jealous of her beauty, Rachel Stanley’s Queen Dragonella was every bit the wicked villainess, dreaming up ever more demented plans to bump off her beautiful step-daughter and claim Prince Ashley as her husband!
Panto royalty Christopher Biggins was the man in the mirror, who periodically appeared in the first half to hover over the stage and share his wisdom. It was a delight to see him finally freed in the second half – especially when he popped up to take part on an absolutely fabulous rendition of “If I Were Not…” in a Baywatch style swim suit!
Completing the principal cast was the absolutely outstanding Ken Orkian, who developed a wonderful raptor with the audience, as Muddles the Royal Jester. Delivering many of the shows best laughs, Ken showed a great ability to ad-lib, particularly when an adorable four-year-old mini Snow White called Molly, joined him on stage for a sing-song!
Aside from the outstanding performances, the production was complemented by stunning visual effects and imaginative sets including a huge fire breathing dragon and a festive sleigh pulled by reindeer which both flew above the audience during the show.
Snow White is panto magic at its very best, so catch it at Southampton Mayflower Theatre until December 31st. For tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk