snow white woking review

Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Woking

Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Woking

Dominika Fleszar reviews Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking: “an adorable, mirth-filled night… will sparkle a lot of joy among the littles and the grown-ups

Image Credit: Ian Olsson

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking is both dazzling and all-around fabulous, with the cast and ensemble that delivers mirth-filled songs and dance and exuberant jokes with something resembling a story in-between.  

Gok Wan plays Gok Wan. Well, he plays The Man in the Mirror, but everyone knows full well he is just being his lovable self. Which obviously is no objection – that’s precisely what everyone is expecting. Stylist and How to Look Good Naked jokes galore. For fans of his (myself included) – this is paradise. His jokes are slickly timed and he executes all the accepted repertoire of his TV self, which basically mean he’s lovely and charming at all times, even when he’s not supposed to be. But this is panto, not Shakespeare, and the audience cheers him on at all times, and especially during his spectacular Glinda-style entrée.  

Comedian Aaron James is crude yet street-smart Muddles: his supposed love for Snow White is completely unconvincing, contrary to his knockabout antics: James has some fabulous comedic timing. Jokes are, well, far from refined but double entendre and innuendos abound so that adults can have a bit of fun too. He’s jolly, he’s silly and he’s riotously funny. Harriet Thorpe’s Queen Lucretia is pretty much everything one may wish from a panto villain: slick and taunting, and very posh, if a little too understated at times. The dominance of the stars leaves relatively little space for the story itself which travels at breakneck speed. But Rebekah Lowings and Benjamin Purkiss as Snow White and Prince Harry are sweet, charming and very good-looking indeed; their romance is the furthest thing from convincing and truly, it doesn’t intend to. It is pleasant to look at though.  

Snow White observes all the important panto traditions, from the Ghost Gag to slapstick to a fantastic panto rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas to traditional stage wizardry at the end of the first act which is quite impressive indeed and bound to get some enthusiastic roars from the crowd. There are local jokes, there are Covid-19 jokes (obviously). A very lovely touch was the acknowledgement of everyone involved at the end of the show (so Gok Wan), including back-stage technicians.  

It is an adorable, mirth-filled night starring a cast who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and a tightly drilled, acrobatic ensemble. I don’t wish to make extravagant claims – for the show is not perfect – but it will sparkle a lot of joy among the littles and the grown-ups.