This first panto at the hall has many problems technically with sound and the rather basic set, but there are still moments that can make the audience smile.
Directed by the Artistic Director and CEO of Hoxton Hall Karena Johnson, this production attempts to entertain audiences with plenty of singing, audience participation and fun characters.
As with many pantomimes, it begins in a kingdom that is far,far away and where Queen Morgiana rules over her people strictly but in her spare time questions a magic mirror about her beauty. But the story truly begins when she asks the mirror who is the fairest in the land and it replies that her step daughter the beautiful Snow White is. With the arrival of a prince expected in the kingdom to marry the most beautiful woman in the kingdom, the Queen plots to get rid of Snow White – for good.
Aimed at children four years and above, there is plenty of silliness about the production to entertain – even though it takes a while to get the audience to really participate and warm to the show. This is in part down to the enthusiastic performances from Marc Dehaney as Dame and Sam Hoye as Muddles – who really get into the panto spirit and encourage the audience.
There is also fun to be had in watching Catherine Morris as the petulant and vain Queen Morgiana, getting that balance between a silly and yet still having a hint of villain about her perfectly right.
So what of our Snow White and Prince Richard? Both Sarah Bakker and Rodney Vubya appeared to be slightly awkward on stage, only really gaining in confidence when they were singing.
The trouble is that although some of the performances were good, the quality of the production is lacking somewhat. Many of the lyrics to the songs and some of the dialogue was lost sitting at the back of the hall and the set was just a little too basic to be convincing.
Although there were a few empty seats, the audience tried to get into the show as much as possible – but it just didn’t feel as though this production did quite enough to get them into the Christmas spirit.
It is a shame that this production which really had a traditional feel about it doesn’t quite work and capture children’s imaginations (there was a lot of fidgeting – particularly in the second act), ending up feeling more awkward than joyful. But hopefully if Hoxton hall decide to put on another pantomime next year they might up their game slightly.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is on at Hoxton Hall until the 24th December. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.hoxtonhall.co.uk/snow-white-seven-dwarfs/