The Darlington Hippodrome's annual pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is a must-see for families and children of all ages. This year's production is packed with laughter, magic, and a cast of talented performers who bring the story to life in a way that is both entertaining and enchanting.
The show opens with a grand overture, as the curtain rises to reveal a magnificent castle set. The Wicked Queen, played by the hilarious Jenny Ryan of ITV's The Chase, makes her entrance and immediately sets the tone for the evening with her sharp wit and wicked schemes (she's as formidable on stage as she is on ancient Chinese culture).
Snow White, played by the radiant Marina Lawrence-Mahrra, is a picture of innocence and beauty. She is kind and compassionate, and her love for the seven dwarfs is heartwarming. The dwarfs themselves are a riotous bunch, with their hilarious antics and catchy songs.
Josh Benson as Muddles, brings the madness. A super talented comic, juggler and brilliant dancer (which I think surprised many, including Gareth Gates), Josh leads the show perfectly, interacts well with Gareth and Jenny, and is great with the audience (tho perhaps he needs to rethink his audience response when he comes on stage, there were many of the younger members who got quite muddled).
Star billing is for Gareth Gates as Prince Gareth who ticks pretty much every box:
Handsome - tick
Can Dance - tick
Can sing - tick (he'll need the lemon and honey tea for this run)
Looks good with his top off ...HUGE tick, that's right Gareth fans, there's a good chance if you come to see this that you'll be on Santa's naughty list for your thoughts.
The show is full of memorable moments, from the Wicked Queen's hilarious attempts at poisoning Snow White to the now staple Crossroads Panto end of act 1 flying spectacular. The only thing missing this year is a sense of comedy for the dame. Jamie Jones plays Mrs Nelly Nightnurse and looks perfect but sadly has very little to do, a waste if such talent - there is not even the funny "12 Days of Christmas" or "If I Were Not.." songs which everyone loves so much and have come to expect.
The production is visually stunning, with colourful costumes, elaborate sets, and dazzling special effects. The choreography is energetic and fun, and the music is catchy and memorable.
The Snow White pantomime at the Darlington Hippodrome is a magical experience that is sure to delight audiences of all ages. It is a show that will leave you laughing, singing, and feeling the Christmas spirit.