REVIEW: A big performance, not to be missed

Alexey Kofanov as The Mirror in Stageworks Worldwide Productions' Snow White

Alexey Kofanov as The Mirror in Stageworks Worldwide Productions' Snow White

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Snow White, that’s the one all about the seven dwarfs and the handsome prince whose true love’s kiss saves the princess right?

Oh no it isn’t!

Okay so the dwarfs do have a pretty big (and I do mean BIG…you’ve never seen dwarfs quite like this before!) role in Blackpool Pleasure Beach-based Stageworks Worldwide Productions.

But this reworking of the classic fairytale pretty much sidelines the now-not-so-little heroes of the title.

And although 18-year-old Miranda Myles is sweet, and certainly looks the part as the heroine, it doesn’t hinge on Snow White.

Nor her handsome prince. While Lancashire’s Liberty X singer Kevin Simm was perfectly charming, with some good vocals, he’s not the star of the show at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall either.

I actually can’t pick whose performance I loved most out of the Queen, Fairy or Mirror.

Nicola Broadley was channelling Maleficent (different story I know, but when it works this well you can’t be picky) with every breath, strut and sneer as the evil Queen out to kill Snow White – in between taking several photobombed selfies, of course.

The audience loved to hate her.

In fact, she was so amazingly villainous that one of my twin three-year-olds fled her seat (with grandma in tow) during her first scene... And didn’t return until the interval!

Bryan Reid was an equally strong stage presence as the fabulous Fairy, and his performance of Frozen’s Let It Go (including a full Elsa transformation) would be worth the ticket price alone. Visually and vocally it was a stunning segment.

And yes: The Mirror. Looking at the flyer I was a tad surprised The Mirror was even featured, but then Alexey Kofanov stepped on stage.

In his character outfit he glittered and gleamed, but then he took centre stage in the forest scene – and he shone.

I know there were seven other dancers on stage with him, but for all the money in the world I could not tell you what any of them were doing.

Once Alexey, a Russian gymnast and acrobat, took to the air in his gravity defying routine I was mesmerised, and couldn’t take my eyes off him.

At times during this show I forgot I was watching a pantomime. The costumes, backdrops, lighting and special effects were often breathtaking – certainly not like the pantomimes I went to growing up.

But there was also an abundance of naff jokes, slapstick antics, and audience participation – mostly led by the brilliant Taylor Murphy as Muddles – that you expect from a good pantomime.

And this was a really good pantomime, loved by scores of schoolchildren, adults and my daughters (initial fears over come by one of them) alike. It’s on until December 31. Don’t Let It Go without seeing it.

DONNA SINGLETON