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Silchester Players

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Review of Snow White

24th to 25th January and 31st January to 1st February 2020

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Heigh ho, heigh ho…

Silchester Players: Snow White, at Silchester Village Hall, from Tuesday, January 21, to Saturday, February 1

So you thought the pantomime season was over? Oh no it isn't.

Silchester Players presented their own variations on the familiar Snow White story with a fresh story line from member Scarlett Quittenton woven into the narrative – busy lady that Scarlett turned out to be as in addition to her story she played a leading part as Muddles, a sort of Buttons-type character and was assistant to director Zoe Cole.

The first thing to say here is that this production covered all the clichés associated with and loved about panto. The skeleton that's behind you but never seen, the cooking sequence that always ends up with flour and water flying about and somebody getting a face full of gunge. Oh yes, and getting the children in the audience to greet a popular character and join in singing and shouting, as required.

A fair-sized cast did very well, including a chorus of young performers and a very young Junior Chorus. Special effects were to a high standard also with flashes and fire columns and the wicked Queen Crimson turning into an old hag when she drank her potion. How? Well, a trick of the light really or perhaps I should say turning them off and on again very swiftly

Some good performances were given, too, with Alan Moorhouse impressive as a typical pantomime dame, his antics and facial expressions highly amusing. Charley Henkey made a very fine Queen Crimson, both in stage movement and deportment generally while the part of Snow White was shared between Julia West and Jessica Craker-Knott, who will appear this week. Other parts were well played and bits of business and stage movement carefully co-ordinated. Choreography was well-designed and executed.

Apart from one actor leaning forward awkwardly every time she delivered a line and another looking pointedly at his wristwatch during a static sequence – that would be a fine trick in medieval England – this was a polished production all round.

Scenery was really excellent and so were the costumes and if the seven dwarves were a little on the tall side well, you don't have access to Central Casting in amateur societies. The actors chosen were all very good though.


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