It’s that time of year again where Christmas and New Year is over, we had ‘Blue Monday’ and everyone is feeling a bit low with the grey and dismal weather… but if you head to Louth Riverhead Theatre you will be cheered up no end watching this years Pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
I had tickets for last Saturdays evening performance where myself and a few members of my family watched the show. I remembered thoroughly enjoying least years show, Dick Whittington, and was definitely looking forward to an evening of fun and laughter.
The whole show was filled with dancing, singing, wonderful set changes and was a real spectacular feast for the eyes as well as the ears. In particular, the neon costumes and backdrops had my 1 year old niece’s eyes glued to the stage! The senior chorus in particular had their work cut out throughout the performance, taking on cameo parts, moving scenery, dancing, singing and obviously thoroughly enjoying the part they were playing. It was great to see Studio 2000 dancers (Choreographed by Nicky Wright), both senior and junior, the little ones did great! Last Saturday, we were watching ‘Team Snow’, a fabulous set of dwarfs that performed brilliantly, as I’m sure ‘Team White’ do on the alternate nights.
Laura Harris, who played Snow White, gave a wonderfully sweet performance, true to how I imagine that character to be; interacting well with the rest of the performers, beautiful singing, and having a great rapport with the dwarfs which came across really well. I read in the programme it’s Laura’s ninth pantomime (as well as performing in lots of other shows in the past), so she’s obviously well versed at knowing what is required to please the audience. Another performer who knows how to bring the audience with him is ‘daft lad’ Willie Eckeslike, played by Jack Lovett. I’ve seen Jack perform in quite a few shows now, and he never fails to please the audience. I’ve not seen another actor in local theatre that can adapt as well with such great timing. I’m sure audiences are looking forward to seeing some of his writing and producing in the comedy sketch show, Here, There and Everywhere, coming to the Louth Riverhead Theatre in March 2018.
Erica Slonskyj did a great job at playing Queen Esmerelda; the audience were disliking her from the first moment she stepped onto the stage… a nice lot of boos at the end proved she did a great job, and how her voice is lasting for all 10 shows I’ll never know! Chris Leeworthy played The magic Mirror and as well as the traditional responses to the Queen’s questions, while things were going on at the front of the stage, we saw the mirror reflections to whoever was standing in front. It was a delight to see Yvonne Bates on stage again playing Fairy Glad Tidings, having seen her most recently in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in which she played the hilarious neighbour. This was a very different role, but the audience warmed to her charm, but also laughed at her telling off Courtney Fish, the pantomime dame played by Neil Warne who was also Directing the show with Sue Hamilton. I understand from the programme that Neil stepped in very late in the rehearsal schedule; the audience would never have known, everyone loved Courtney, with her delightfully garish costumes, over stated make up and crass humour.
There were lots of other performers that did really well, the comedy duo maintenance men, Phil McCavity and Tyler Wall, played by Ray Baker and Neil Le Sueur, and the dashing Prince Charming, played by Evangeline Dodds, who won the hearts of the audience as well as Snow White.
It’s always great to see a live orchestra at shows, and Joel Browne, Musical Director (and piano/keyboard) did a great job along with his team, even getting involved in some of the comedy – I never did work out who ended up £1 better off!
Well done to all the performers, back stage crew, lighting, set, costumes and everyone else who had a part to play in this pantomime. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, so much so, I can’t wait for next year!
Unfortunately all tickets are sold out for the remainder of the performances but if you would like to go on a waiting list, please contact the theatre box office in case any tickets are returned. The show continues until 20th January.