Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Dwarves prove big hit in a classic tale that isn’t just for the kids

This year’s pantomime in Londonderry’s Millennium Forum is a darker, yet still comic rendition of the beloved Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Jam-packed with an array of slapstick, tongue-in-cheek humour, an uproariously funny performance caters for all ages with some truly laugh-out-loud, tear-inducing humour for the kids, with subtle hints of double entendre to keep the adults on their toes.

Punctuated with local dialect, colloquialisms and hilarious asides from the ever entertaining Forum favourite William Caulfield provided the evening with a personal touch.

The audience were captivated by the superb acting from the home-grown Northern Irish cast including the Londonderry-born Gemma McMeel as Snow White, Darren Franklin as the dapper Prince Charming, Gerard McCabe as Muddles, Kerri Quinn as the Wicked Queen and the leading lady himself, William Caulfield as Nurse Molly Coddle.

The children were overawed by Daniel O’Donnell's guest appearance as the Man in the Magic Mirror.

No Snow White performance would be complete without the Seven Dwarves and this sensational seven do not disappoint.

Each dwarf added their own unique comic spin with individual antics and banter.

Each scene is peppered with timeless favourites such as Heigh Ho, Whistle While You Work and Dig Dig Dig.

The dwarves had the entire room singing along and the lively dance routines added to the drama and sense of intrigue, especially the outstanding performance by the evil ghouls to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Other chart-topping smash hits like One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful, Maroon Five’s Moves like Jagger, Olly Murs’ Dance With You Tonight, the Mission Impossible theme tune and reworkings of classic musical songs such as The Sound of Music’s Favourite Things gave the production an up-to-the-moment twist.

The dazzling cougar Queen Diamante is loathed throughout for her wickedness whereas Hermann the Henchman turns it around at the end of the show when good triumphs evil.

The lovable Muddles’ long anticipated song is atreat and well worth the wait. It had the younger members of the audience on their feet doing the actions to this year’s most famous dance song — panto style.

This well-crafted adaptation has certainly upped the ante in terms of performance.

It worked seamlessly on all levels, from the hugely talented actors, the artistic stage backdrops, flamboyant range of costumes and eclectic mix of songs, to the excellent choreography.

This show has it all, something for everyone.

An all-round winner this feelgood Christmas classic is by far the best panto that the Millennium Forum has hosted to date.

A must-see for all the family.

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