REVIEW: Streaming- Snow White in 7 Months of Lockdown

Brian Butler December 19, 2020

John Savournin artistic director of Charles Court Opera has worked overtime in lockdown. Not only did he write a Covid- ready panto but he also directs and stars in it.

In collaboration with London’s Kings Head Theatre, CCO has produced a family friendly and an adult version of their show , which can be streamed to your home.

Savournin as Snow White, with his broad Northern accent , could be pulling pints  at the Rovers Return but instead he’s slaving day and night for the 7 Dwarves – all marvellloiusly brought to life by Matthew Kellet.

There’s a wicked queen ofcourse – deliciously played in black and white furs by Jennie Jacobs, spurred on by the invisible but even more evil men in the mirror – played by Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard.

Bearing in mind  I watched the adult version, there’s a lot of near-the-knuckle humour, and the cast cleverly leave gaps after the worst of their music hall jokes – space for us to laugh at home and not miss a second of this uproariously funny  show.

The songs, pastiches of Sondheim, Prince, Les Mis and Barry White, amongst others,  are brilliantly put together by David Eaton and sung in full throated operatic  style by the cast of 5.

Love interest comes in the shape of Emily Cairns as Larry , the Prince of Pretzel, in full drag king dress of tunic and tight fitting red spandex trousers. She’s ably assisted by a valet – Harry – played by Meriel Cunningham who is nicely annoying and brilliant when metamorphosed into a frog.

It’s not without its darkness – the Queen manages to blow up one of the Dwarves , Half-Baked, and there’s a touching funeral scene. If you can’t  recall a dwarf called Half-Baked , that’s because the performers have to change the little people’s names due to a cease and desist order from the Disney Corp. Oh, all except Sneezy which is not copyrighted  – just as well as his name and actions give us lots of Covid jokes.

And Snow has a unique back-story – she was married to the King of Soul Barry White , who appears  to urge Snow to get a new man and move on.

The highlight for me was the scene in The Black Forest where the cast give us a multi-layered mash-up of One Day More,  Go West, Let It Be and Take Me Home – it’s musically stunning.

Of course it all ends happily and so it should in this season of limited cheer.

Tickets available till 3 January –