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KATS - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

19th to 21st February 2009.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, another success for KATS

KATS: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at Kennet School, from Thursday, February 19 to Saturday, February 21

KATS pantomimes are always well worth a visit for their sheer entertainment value and spectacle. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was no exception, with an original, lively and modern script, which kept to the traditional storyline (written by Mike Brook) and a considerable array of talent to enjoy.

The lead roles were strongly cast; Beth Delaney (Prince Theodore) was simply dashing and Emma Smith (Snow White) ticked all the boxes without being sickly. Andrew Pocock as the Dame tickled the audience with his awful gags and compelling and enthusiastic musical numbers and Kevin Dunwell as the rather dim King Ronald struck just the right note. Ruth Gostelow's strong and feisty Red Rose provided an effective narrative and relishing her role was Kim Jakubiszyn who appeared magically as the Mirror with her surreal other-worldly voice.

Claire Bowden was outstanding as Viola, the wicked Queen, even bringing humour to the evil character and was partnered brilliantly by Jon Lovell as her very funny idiot brother, Vincent. Great stuff.

The seven dwarfs; Alison Brownfield (Hugo), Robert Conway (Sandy), Hayley Cox (Miles), Kayleigh Hill (Bob), Katie Howse (Howie), Eileen McCarthy (Bill) and Kirsten Jurgens (Maxi) were charming and loveable and all well characterised. The name guessing dialogue with Snow White was a clever and delightful twist. David Richardson as Monmorency had good presence and was amusing - he couldn't say his r's - and Nick Prince was perfectly cast as Arthur the soft-hearted hunter.

Director Janet Kilgallon-Brook mixed the classic story with some diverse musical numbers and the action moved slickly from scene to scene.

The choreography by Clair Bowden and Jon Lovell was terrific (and well judged) and the big chorus routines helped to lift the production to another level. The Hairspray finale was a corker. Well done to the animated adult chorus and the junior chorus from the West Berks Ballet School who were well-rehearsed and splendid.

Underpinning the great cast were high production values, lovely costumes, special effects, good sound balance and a snazzy lighting plot - all contributing to another success.