Snow White Review
Snow White and her best friend, Grimm, are ready with a warm welcome and a big friendly smile in this year’s Courtyard show for the smaller members of the family.
The moment families enter the Studio to take their seats, they’re immersed in a magical world, full of colour, things to look at and Snow White and Grimm ready to get to know them.
Then, once we’re all sitting comfortably, they begin, opening the big story book to tell the classic tale of the princess (Snow White, of course) whose Wicked Stepmother wants to get rid of her once ‘mirror, mirror on the wall’ reveals that her stepdaughter is now ‘the fairest of them all’.
In what is, in some tellings, a scary story, with the huntsman dispatched to dispatch Snow White, and apples poisoned to expedite the deed, Nick Lane and director David Durant keep the action inside children’s comfort zone by chopping the tale into chapters, and letting the friends tell the story.
With the use of just a few props, the odd wig (very odd), a hand puppet and an upside down crown, the talented and energetic Katie Haygarth and Scott Waugh bring all the characters to life, keeping their young audience on the edge of their seats. There’s audience participation, too, as Snow White is led through the grabbity forest – cue lots of hand waving – pointy-beaked birds – snappy hands – and hissing snakes – rollercoaster arms and sibilance – by the huntsman, trying desperately to ‘get rid’ of Snow White by losing her ….
And then she arrives at the cottage in the woods where the Seven Dwarfs live … they’re out of course – seven into two won’t go! But Snow White has her own creative way of ensuring that any unexpected visitors know they’re around.
The Wicked Queen’s first two attempts on the unsuspecting Snow White’s life provide the opportunity for two groan-out-loud puns that are well worth the wait (for the groan-ups!), and her final trick with the apple offers Grimm the chance to show what a truly wonderful friend he is.
Snow White is, as intended, a perfect introduction to live theatre – the two little people who let me go with them loved it – beautifully paced and packed full of fun and laughter.
Snow White is on in The Courtyard’s Studio Theatre until 31 December. For more information or to book tickets visit courtyard.org.uk/events/snow-white.
Reviewed by Philippa May, Entertainment Editor – Hereford Times.