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Wednesday, December 22, 2021


 (Above: The cast of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs")

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” offers everything one expects from a Pantomime and more. (Keith Millar)

If you could capture all the fun, magic, joy, colour, sparkle, laughter, and enjoyment of Christmas in one big parcel – then that would be the traditional Christmas Pantomime.

And those wonderful purveyors of theatre dreams in Durban, Steven Stead and Greg King along with their team from Kickstart, and in conjunction with The Playhouse Company, are back this year with their fabulous pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This is the first time in a decade that Snow White has been presented as the Christmas pantomime. This brand new version is written and directed by Stead; with delightful sets, puppets, and costumes by King; musical direction by Jason Bird; lighting by Tina le Roux and choreography by Simone Mann . Now how’s that for a Dream Team?

Making the magic happen on stage are Georgina Mabbett-Kelly as Snow White, Sihle Manonyane as Prince Valiant and the fabulous Blessing Xaba (remember him as Fatty from the Spud movies) as the hysterically wicked dame, Queen Malicia.

They are joined by a delightful over-the-top crew of nutty panto characters played by Mthokozisi Zulu, Belinda Henwood, and Bryan Hiles – outdoing Johnny Depp with his eccentric performance as Zanzibar Jack. Dancers Kirsty Ndawo and Simone Mann complete the cast.

There is plenty of music during the show with tunes from popular musicals as well as poplar hits – all well-performed by the talented cast.But perhaps the most important component for a Panto is the audience participation. And there is oodles of that. Everyone in the audience. Real children and the rest of us (and make no mistake – we all revert) have an absolute ball joining in, hissing booing, and shouting directions and advice to the cast.

Complete chaos at times, but marvellous fun.

I had the honour of attending the production with two grandsons. A six-year-old attending his first Panto and a nine-year-old veteran who knows exactly how to get involved. They are still talking about their experiences days later and rating the show ten out of ten..

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs offers everything one expects from a Pantomime and more. There are performances at the Playhouse until December 30. However, with the restrictions imposed on audience sizes by the pandemic, they are going to sell out soon. So check with Quicket as soon as possible. – Keith Millar