Disclosure: Unlike other shows – we had to buy tickets and even paid for the programme. We even paid a booking fee! I know…it does happen sometimes. LOL!
Snow White 2: Appley Ever After
Newcastle Stand Comedy Club
Until 30th December 2018
Family entertainment for £5 a head in that difficult time between Christmas and New Year…we needed to check it out. Bearing in mind that the theatre around the corner charges over 8 times that figure for it’s best seats, what was the show going to be like?
2018 began with a review of Lee Kyle and Sammy Dobson on a cold, wet night in Newcastle. There is some lovely symmetry in that we finish the year with these very funny people in a packed Stand Comedy Club.
This is not Snow White though… this is the sequel. Prince Charming has done one…ran off with a lover called Steve. Snow White (Hannah Walker) has her riches and loves shopping but she wants to meet Mr Right. Muddles (Lee Kyle) is still a friend, though he has become obsessive bordering on stalking. Snow White’s best mate is Dame Frankie (Sammy Dobson) whom she can confide with.
Along comes a new suitor – the Handsome Prince Hal (Hal Branson) whose only friend appears to be a vacuum cleaner. This is 2018 so they are matched on a dating site.
But hang on – this is panto and panto needs a baddie… Well the evil Queen was dispatched to be in a mirror for all eternity and so she remains. Katherine Tanney is the plotting evil Queen in the mirror (on a large TV next to the stage).
The TV comes in handy too when Snowy needs to make video calls to the 7 dwarfs who are on a stag do in Blackpool – or deal with an evil computer voiced by Britain’s Got Talent winner Lee Ridley.
Cheap pantos don’t have special effects, but they don’t need them. Panto is about people interacting. We have a group of people most of whom do stand up on a regular basis and hence know how to entertain and to tell a joke. As an ensemble they work too. Whereas a lot of pantos involve a group of people who had never met before the press photo call (like on The Chase), this is a group of people who know each other well (like the contestants on the Eggchasers). The cast credit themselves as producing a script and it works well. The interactions between cast members is natural (or as natural as 4 comics can be at 1 in the afternoon).
The show clearly got the audience going. One young person was starting early in life with numerous heckles throughout the show, especially when the evil Queen appeared on screen to insult the audience.
A number of standard panto elements are there, including the take off scene which had the kids screaming ‘it’s behind you!’ Apart from a brief few seconds of Baby Shark, all of the songs have had lyrics written by Lee Kyle. In this aspect the production has overlap with the format of a musical as the lyrics support the exposition. Unlike in most pantos when some recent songs are belted out to give the star on the poster the solo spot demanded in their contract (or so I assume).
So onto the panto checklist: was it funny? Yes – we had plenty of laughs. Did the kids enjoy it? – given the noise they were making, indeed they did. Did the adults laugh at jokes the kids didn’t get? That happened throughout the show, though the innuendo was thankfully fairly limited. Did they attempt to tell a story? Yes they did. Did time fly by? Indeed it did – though for those paying for parking it is worth noting it finished at 3:20 not 2:45. Recommended? Absolutely!
Review by Stephen Oliver
Snow White 2: Appley Ever After
Venue: The Stand Comedy Club, High Bridge, Newcastle NE1 1EW
Dates: 17th – 23rd / 27th – 30th December
Times and ticket links:
Lee Kyle has a monthly children’s show at the Stand and is on tour again in 2019 See: http://www.imleekyle.com/2019tour. He kept mentioning it during the show so we thought we’d repeat it here.