As soon as I see the Coca-Cola Truck advert and the John Lewis advert on TV, I know Christmas is approaching fast and then before I can catch my breath I find myself at press night in Pantoland!
Although freezing outside, inside with the excitement of everyone preparing for one of the best nights of the year was so welcoming and warming. We were greeted as always with jaw gaping smiles as we collected our tickets, programs and of course the flashing, spinning lights for the children; then we we clapped our eyes on the amazing dwarfs made out of balloons especially for a silent auction in order to raise money for charity.
Having arrived early for the pre-party, we had an extra treat of listening to the talented Andrew Woodford playing the piano, amidst of all the festivities being underway.
I find as I get older that I live for the joy I see in children enjoying themselves and tonight was indeed one of those nights! I’m not sure if the show was sold out, but walking into the auditorium it certainly felt like it as the air was completely buzzing with the spirit of Christmas.
Snow White as most of you know, is based on a fairy tale with a magic mirror and a poisoned apple. Tonight we had a Wicked Queen (Su Pollard) who is consumed with jealously of Snow White’s beauty (Jenna Innes) so much so that she goes to extreme lengths to marry her Prince Charming (Jon Moses), by hypnotizing Snow White’s best friend Muddles (Andy Collins), to get him to kill her and bring back her heart. It is in the woods she finds herself at the Dwarfs cottage (as pointed out by a very cute little girl Timarra), and of course they fall in love with her and invite her to stay – Meanwhile, The Prince, Snow White’s Nurse (La Voix) and Muddles make it their task to rescue her from the evil Queen.
They say you are only as good as your weakest link, well there were definitely no weak links in this casting! Each member of the cast brought their own strength to the show. Snow White was a beautiful innocent with vocals to match. The Prince, known as Prince Fredrick of Fairford Leys, actually looked like the perfect Disney prince, tall and handsome with a perfectly chiseled jawline and hair, with such strong vocals that everyone in the theatre was dumbstruck when he sung ‘Who I’d Be’ from Shrek the Musical. It was so soft – I would happily let Princy read me bedtime stories anytime! They absolutely nailed the Wicked Queen with Su Pollard. Her evilness was wicked, and one of my favorite lines of the night has to have been “I’ve just seen my worst nightmare, children! I hate children, horrible little creatures…” then adding, “I might hate children, but I love their dads!”, typical of something I would say – it was really nice to meet her afterwards so the children could she how nice she actually is. Of course panto wouldn’t be panto without our very own double act, the wonderful Andy Collins and dame extraordinaire La Voix, both bringing humour, fun and laughter to the show, as well as the now expected Twelve Days of Christmas act – it’s a shame they didn’t use the fire hose, but that didn’t stop them with the super soakers!
In true panto style there was audience participation throughout, jokes for everyone, clearly a lot going over the children’s head straight to us adults. There were boo’s, hiss’s, cheers and jazz hands from us all. I was more than impressed with the set that wasn’t cheap as you’d normally expect from usual panto sets and the amazing costumes were on point as always.
I’ve been reviewing shows for nearly 5 years and I would be the first to pick fault at something, and in fact have become somewhat high maintenance, but I really couldn’t fault anything… what can I say Waterside, you nailed it! Congratulations to everyone.
If you get the chance this Christmas, grab yourself, a friend or loved ones some tickets and heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to Waterside you go – it really is a must see!
Snow White runs until Sunday 31st December 2017 at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Tickets are available from http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.