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REVIEW: Snow White at Hexham Queen's Hall

Snow White

Hexham Queen's Hall 9 - 31 December 2023

Alnwick Playhouse 13 - 30 December 2023

Snow White is fun family experience that had the young members of the audience responding with excitement throughout the show.

This is less of a panto and more of a two handed story telling that frequently breaks the fourth wall in a panto style in order to get the audience involved. It is funny and charming, making it a perfect aperitif for the forthcoming season.

With only two on stage, covering the the Brother's Grimm tale of Snow White is going to be a challenge. Alnwick actor Harry Brierley appears as Grimm the storyteller. Joining him is Natasha Biggs as Snow White. They also cover the other roles ranging from the Snow White's parents through to her pet dog. 

The cast have to work hard in this Nick Lane adaptation but the masterstroke is in the casting as they both quickly engage with the audience and make it clear that they want interaction. This release of the freedom of the younger members of the crowd then releases their energy in a positive way.

Good use of props help with the storytelling aspect. The action lasted for under two hours, including interval, ensuring plenty of pace and keeping the kids engaged. There is no waffle here.

The story has some crazy twists - exploding chickens being one example. Damien Cruden has directed a tight show which doesn't take itself too seriously but sticks to the core plot. 

Of course, only having two actors means that they both have to work their socks off. The songs, puppetry and very quick costume changes feel seamless to the audience because of the skills of the two performers.

This was a wonderful show that, whilst aimed at key stage 2/3 children, it was something that made us adults laugh too. If the show helps introduce a new generation to theatre then that makes it special too.

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Von Fox Promotions

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