On Wednesday we took the boys to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Theatre Royal in St.Helens. It was the first time we had been to a panto as a family of four because I was worried the tiddler would get bored and the big’un, who doesn’t like loud noises, might get scarred and we would end up leaving half way through, so to say I was a tad nervous was an understatement. Luckily we managed to stay for the entirety, the tiddler was mesmerized and couldn’t take his eyes of Snow White, I think he developed his first crush right there and then and as we were seated high up the big’un wasn’t fazed by any of the noise at all.
Snow White is played by Lucy Jo Hudson, who you might recognise from Coronation street or Wild at heart. Lucy manages to instantly bring the Snow you know from the story book to life with a gentle, happy, care free nature that, if you are 5 years old, makes you fall deeply in love. Every panto needs a cheeky chappy and in this version of Snow White we see the introduction of a new character, muddles, who was a huge hit with the big’un as he kept stumbling over his words and accidently saying all the words every 7 year old love to hear, leaving the children laughing in the isles, along with some sniggers from the parents at the cheeky innuendos. Of course no panto would be complete without a dame and at St. Helens you will be treated to a fantastic performance by Simon Foster who plays the dreaded queen who, as the story states, tries to kill Snow to win the kingdom but to see if love triumphs all you will just have to watch it yourself.
Although the all star cast were incredible, for me the re stars of the show have to be the teeny tiny dances who look no older than 7, cute as a button, oh so professional and danced beautifully despite being faced by 100’s of strangers, lots of stage lighting and probably being up on stage hours after their bed time. Their parents must be bursting with pride.
In addition to the expert acting, rudey dudey innuendos for parents, and beautiful dancing I was amazed by all the extras. I know I said I haven’t been to a panto for a good few years but I wasn’t expecting them to have changed so much. Firstly there was the presence of Jonny Vegas as the magic mirror, obviously all pre recorded but done in such a way that it looked like he was actually interacting with the cast live on stage. Secondly there was fog machines, fire flares and flashing lights that added to the drama and thirdly a whole 3D section. 3D! in a panto, I was genuinely blown away by this, it was so unexpected but also so realistic and had me and the boys ducking and diving and jumping out of seats to avoid the weird and wonderful things that were flying at us. I don’t know if these extras are now the norm for a pantomime or if I’m just easily pleased but pleased I truly was and will most definitely be booking to see another performance at Theatre Royal in St. Helens in the new year and if you haven’t booked your family panto yet or just fancy seeing another one I can highly recommend this one for the whole family.