The BlogFather – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Pantomime
My wife, our three girls and myself went to see the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs panto today and it was brilliant!
After a rocky start to the day – overnight snow potentially rendering the day a write-off, a tough walk to town to grab some shopping (I towed the kids in a sledge on the way down and back up) – we decided to risk it as we had all been looking forward to the show since we booked our tickets last year straight after the ‘Peter Pan’ panto last December (starring David Hasselhoff as ‘Captain Hoff the Hook’).
We had been desperately trying to contact the ‘New Theatre‘ in Cardiff to find out what the protocol is for adverse weather conditions and their response was to “leave a bit earlier to accommodate the driving conditions”. Despite being Scottish, I haven’t really had much experience of driving in the snow and my wife doesn’t do the drive to Cardiff so it was all down to me. I know the basics – pump the brakes, steer into the side of the road if I feel like I’m losing control downhill – but most of the experience I have of driving in snow comes from Colin McRae Rally games on the Playstation. So technically, I have no experience. Except for one year I braved the trip to Asda and had to slide into a junction to get out of the path of a truck skidding down the road behind me with mere seconds between me getting out of the way or being steam-rolled into.
After much deliberating, we decided to go. Me being me, I calculated the odds of every possible eventuality. We knew there was no snow in Cardiff and that the wet roads wouldn’t allow the snow that was forecast later in the day to hinder us – once we got to Pontypridd there was no sign of any snow and it wasn’t until after the panto that the snow started in Cardiff. Merthyr and the A470 up to just past the Abercynon roundabout was a different matter; the snow showed no sign of letting up and the biggest problem was not knowing what it’d be like in a few hours time on the way back – we may not have been able to get home.
Getting that car out of our street was the most challenging part and, to be fair, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. There was no loss of traction and wheels spinning uncontrollably. There was no loss of control or sliding on the corners and once we got to the main road it was fine.
We arrived about fifteen minutes before the show started; enough time to make our way to our seats in Box B and get settled. We were so close to the stage which was great but the biggest downside was that we had the speakers and other rigs right by the box so we couldn’t really see much on the left side of the stage which was a pain as a lot of the action seemed to happen right in that blind spot!
The New Theatre’s spectacular family pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will star Samantha Womack, Gareth Thomas, Mike Doyle, Chico,Tam Ryan & Stephanie Webber who will bring Wales’ No.1 pantomime to life with an abundance of comedy and music, sensational dance numbers, fabulous costumes and stunning scenery. Throw in a magical mirror, seven friendly dwarfs, a beautiful princess, a handsome prince and plenty of audience participation as we outwit the Wicked Queen, then you have a glittering festive treat for all ages.
Source: New Theatre
This year’s lineup is pretty strong – Mike Doyle starred in ‘Peter Pan’ last year and seems to be a regular who plays the ‘pantomime dame’. Samantha Womack née Janus stars as the evil Queen Lucrecia (for a woman twelve years my senior she is stunning and, in my book, is most definitely the fairest out of all the female cast!). Welsh rugby superstar Gareth Thomas plays Lucrecia’s evil henchman who wasn’t so evil after all. Chico plays Prince Chico and I’m sure you can guess what his main song was… Tam Ryan plays Muddles and Stephanie Webber (star of The Voice) plays the titular Snow White.
With this being the second panto we’ve seen at the New Theatre we don’t have much of a basis of comparison but this show was far funnier than last year’s and a lot more risque! The humour last year was mainly the staple puns that Hoff fans are used to whereas this year featured a lot of toilet humour, innuendos, wordplay and spoonerisms which, much like shows like The Simpsons, gives the kids and adults lots of laughs for different reasons. I don’t normally laugh out loud in public but this had me in stitches.
There were a few breaks in character where Tam and Mike would lose it over what I can only assume was some ad-lib that had them creased as well as the audience. There was a moment when Lucrecia blasted her Henchman with some magic which created a puff of smoke to which she proclaimed that it was “the biggest poof” she had seen. The kids found it funny but my wife and myself laughed for another reason – a tongue-in-cheek reference to this tall athlete being a real-life homosexual to which he burst out laughing and the audience joined in with him.
There were a ton of really funny moments which, if a lot were unscripted makes me chuffed to bits but also curious as to what belters they have on the other nights! I’m not one to be star-struck – perhaps it’s because I rarely find myself in the same room or place as a celebrity – but the fact that the cast all seemed to cast their gaze upon us and wave/acknowledge us was pretty friggin’ awesome. It would have been fab to have gotten a picture with the cast but we’ll still have this show as a memory that will last with us forever regardless.
I’m not a fan of musicals or shows but the humour and well-crafted sets, props and costumes really have me in awe and I’m sure we’ll be back again for next year’s show which is set to be ‘Beauty and the Beast‘. Mike Doyle and Tam Ryan’s banter was fantastic, Samantha Womack and Stephanie Webber’s singing voices were phenomenal (Samantha’s Welsh impression was bloody amazing as well!) but, the only thing that I wasn’t really feeling was Chico. I know he doesn’t really have the acting chops but there were a few times I couldn’t make out what he was saying and it reminded me of Benicio Del Toro as Fenster in ‘The Usual Suspects‘.
Still, the show was fantastic and well worth checking out if you’re local or likely to be around Cardiff.
— Craig Stewart (@TryingScotsman) December 10, 2017
—The Trying Scotsman has a ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
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