Combine the wow factor with an X Factor finalist, factor in crazy comedy and contemporary pop hits and you have a panto which sparkles like a star on top of a Christmas tree.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs takes festive fun to a whole new level at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre with a production that gives mega-budget city productions a run for their money.
Aerial gymnast Naomi Scott as the Forest Fairy gyrates high above the stage on drapes of cloth in a jaw-dropping spectacle.
Snow White goes off on a sleigh to the dwarfs’ cottage in a magical scene to rival Cinderella’s journey to the ball.
And jets of sparks are sent across the stage by the henchman of the Wicked Queen as she belts out her signature song Poison.
The bar is set high by G4 singer Jonathan Ansell as Prince Christopher of Chesterfield, Chatsworth and Cutthorpe. The golden-voiced X Factor finalist is particuarly impressive in his rendition of Freddie Mercury’s hit The Show Must Go On.
Nicki French of Eurovision Song Contest fame adds to the vocal might of the production. Her ballad Total Eclipse of the Heart, shows that the Wicked Queen does have a tender side after all.
However, it’s Britain’s Got Talent impressionist Philip Green who steals the show as the Wicked Queen’s grovelling henchman Herman. Screechy voice, manic stares and enormous energy coupled with take-offs of Sarah Millican, Sharon Osborne, Stacey Soloman and Lady Colin Campbell make him one of the funniest performers I’ve seen in pantomime.
Adam Daye parades a colourful array of costumes as Dame Dolly Dumpling, from a chocolate bar dress to an outfit featuring a tablecloth laid with breakfast.
Mike Newman Jr goes down a bomb with the kids as Dolly’s daft son Muddles. The character’s efforts to kibosh a romantic duet between the prince and Snow White make for one of the funniest scens in the panto.
Snow White is played in fine style by Natalie Law, who has a lovely singing voice, particularly impressive in her duet Hold Back The River, which she sings with the prince.
The seven children who play the dwarfs do so admirably, the timing of their gestures in perfect sync with the pre-recorded adult voices.
Covers of Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, Take That’s These Days and Walk The Moon’s Shut Up And Dance, references to Frozen, Doctor Who and Harry Potter and new twists on traditional sketches should make tickets to this panto top of every family’s wishlist this Christmas.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre until January 3.