Mirror, mirror on the wall. Which is the fairest panto of them all? This year, Snow White has invaded London and along with it a star-studded cast. Brought to you by the Olivier Award-winning producers Qdos Entertainment, you can expect a glitzy show full of festive cheer and playful jeers.
We went to this week’s opening night and it didn’t disappoint. So here are our reasons you don’t want to miss this year’s pantomime at the London Palladium…
The bells and whistles
The Palladium throws everything at their annual Christmas spectacle, and the result is breathtakingly lavish. From a huge animatronic dragon looming out into the audience and a succession of incredible sets to Nigel Havers, resplendent in silver, dangling on a wire above the stalls. Plus, of course, the obligatory blizzard of fake snow. It’s a sight to behold. This thoroughly over-the-top production is put together with real skill and craftsmanship which leaves you reeling and slightly dazed by the end.
Several members of last year’s panto return to the Palladium this year, including Julian Clary, Gary Wilmot, Charlie Stemp, and Paul Zerdin. We of course can’t forget Nigel Havers, who has an even bigger role this year as The Understudy (to Julian Clary).
Dawn French earns her fair share of laughs playing evil Queen Dragonella, and although she may be wicked, you can’t help but love her… because it’s Dawn French and she’s a national treasure.
Julian Clary – The Man In The Mirror to the Wicked Queen – commands the stage with his comic timing and unbelievable costumes.
If you saw the panto last year, I’m sure you’ll remember Gary Wilmot’s show-stopping number where he listed every London tube station. We won’t spoil it for you this year but do be prepared for an equally show-stopping number which Wilmot wrote himself!
West End stars Danielle Hope and Charlie Stemp are perfectly cast as Snow White and Prince Harry, and Paul Zerdin’s ventriloquism is as impressive as ever. There’s also plenty of jaw-dropping dancing from Vincent and Flavia, and even some acrobatics by The Palladium Pantaloons.
The dazzling costumes
The show is worth seeing for the costumes alone. Hugh Durrant’s costume designs for last year’s panto earned him his second consecutive Olivier Award nomination, and rightly so. We lost count of how many costume changes Julian Clary has (we reckon there are at least ten) and each costume is a masterpiece in itself.
Panto wouldn’t be panto without at least one chorus of ‘oh, yes it is/isn’t’, shoehorned comedy set pieces, a sprinkling of innuendo and healthy booing to accompany the villain’s entrance. This Snow White has all of that in spades, and the adults in the audience quickly regress to a rabble of rowdy schoolchildren, cackling, whooping, jeering and ‘aaah’ing with gusto…