If Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, is the ‘one and only’ panto you get to see this festive season, then you will not be disappointed.
Sorry for the pun, but with Chesney Hawkes taking to the stage as the Prince, I just had to get that line in. And it is absolutely true that this panto has to be at number one out of all the pantomimes I’ve seen over the years.
It has everything – the music, the humour and the fairytale ending, all performed by a brilliant cast.
The casting bosses really went all out this year, securing Chesney, as well as X Factor and West End stars Niki Evans and Cassie Compton, the hilarious Richard David-Caine and Joseph Elliott (Cbeebies Swashbuckle), plus Jo Brand, who appears via video from within the magic mirror.
There was also a return for Simon Howe, who this time around was Dame Dolly; the woodland fairy was played by Louise Cannon and the dancers and adorable dwarfs were played by local children chosen from open auditions.
My friend Katherine and I went along to the panto on Sunday with our daughters Sophie and Ruby, aged three and four. They both absolutely loved the show and were getting into the panto spirit by shouting out and booing.
The panto run had only started on the Friday but the cast were like best friends on stage and the whole performance flowed really well. There were a couple of incidents of tongue-biting to stop a giggling fit from some of the actors, but who could blame them when the comedy was coming thick and fast throughout the panto. The adults in the audience were well catered for with Richard David-Caine really stealing the show for me with his witty responses and quips at every turn, despite playing the evil henchman Herman.
But for me the stand-out element of this panto was the singing. It really was fantastic. The show was packed with big names, belting out big songs with their big voices.
Chesney got a brilliant reaction from the audience as he sang several covers and, of course, his huge hit The One and Only. It was almost like we were at Chesney comeback concert at times, which was not a bad thing at all – worth considering Chesney?
I must also mention Niki Evans, a former X Factor finalist, who was playing the mean Wicked Queen, but she definitely won our hearts with her powerful singing voice.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has been Worthing Theatres’ biggest selling pantomime ever and that was before the Pavilion doors had even opened.
Now the panto run has started, if you haven’t got your tickets yet, you really need to move fast. You don’t want to be the ‘one and only’ person to have missed this wonderful show!
*Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, until Monday, January 1. Tickets are available from the Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206206 or online at www.worthingtheatres.co.uk