On at Kings Head Theatre (London), Until 9th Jan 2016
By Charles Court Opera
Mirror Mirror is a great panto that delivers far more laughs than many of the bigger shows it’s competing with.
The company revel in finding fringe friendly ways to pack in the laughs. William Fricker’s set is charming, with a surprising number of doors, nooks and crannies found in the seemingly modest space. The decision to have all seven dwarves played by a very busy Matthew Kellett is a great one, and the joke about Disney withdrawing the rights to use their traditional names is excellent and sets the tone for the rest of the evening. There are some great cheesy puns – but the comedy goes further than this and often the room was full of genuine laughter.
Pantomime is a mode full of gender subversion – but here we find it is not the old crones who are played in drag, but instead it is the romantic lead as Snow White and her charming prince. John Savournin’s Snow White plays with a delightful awkwardness, with plenty of gurning facial expressions. His brilliantly low singing voice lends a real comedy edge to the tight harmonies that punctuate the production.
The singing is generally excellent, with some really impressive voices from all five of the cast members. We are treated to some genuinely funny rewritten renditions of pop classics from Queen, ABBA and S Club 7. Uptown Funk rewritten as a Great British Bakeoff sketch was a particular favourite.
The story wanders down an intriguing route, with the second half feeling a little lost compared to the clarity of the first. The decision to include a funeral scene in a panto is a strange one. However, this doesn’t dampen the fun too much at all.
Of course the audience don’t escape dreaded participation, which the cast handle with glee. In fact, the cast more than handled the poor victims I watched. The choice of audience singalong will leave you humming all the way home.
Mirror Mirror is an excellent way to spend a Christmassy evening. In fact, I really really really want to see it all again.
© Dan Farrell 2015
Dan is company director of Studio Film School, a filmmaking workshop company that works to help people make their own films. He is also chairman of trustees at Drunken Chorus, who create new performance work in outreach settings. He is currently working on a new short film festival, Fright Flicks 2015, as well as in pre-production of a short film project.