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Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs - New Wimbledon Theatre (Review)

Review by David Munro

I NEVER thought that I would put pen to paper to praise one of the annual contingent of American ‘names’ who invade our shores at Yuletide and take over our pantos.

However at The New Wimbledon Theatre this Christmas is a lady who manages to transform in true pantomime tradition a very tawdry and lacklustre Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs into a joy forever. It is only right that she should be playing the queen as she is the widow of ‘The King’, Elvis Presley, and has rightfully assumed his crown.

Priscilla Presley is a revelation; although no one could call her the greatest musical performer in the world she attacks her role with vigor and panache, singing and dancing enough to get by and at the same time bringing a charming, if evil, comic persona which lights up the stage and makes one wonder why she has been sojourning in Dallas all these years.

Her Queen is venal, self-centered and outrageously vain to such an extent she makes you all but feel sorry for such a misguided woman. Yes, she is evil but not enough to terrify the children but certainly enough to incite them to heartfelt boos during the performance and warm applause at the final walkdown.

Without Her Majesty, Mrs Presley, it would be a sad evening indeed as she reigns over a production which can barely justify the title of third rate; dreadful dancing, embarrassing comics, dwarfs whom, when they were audible, were screamingly unfunny, a prince so camp and OTT as to qualify for this years most uncharming character and a Snow White who struggled with her songs and dance and seemed to be begging to be released from the embarrassment she found herself in.

But then enters Mrs P and all this discomfort was forgotten and the show was back on course again as she swept aside all carping and criticism with one swish of her very elegant skirt.

I must express a lot of surprise at the mediocre nature of the production as it is in the hands of Ian Talbot, a director whose work I have greatly admired at Regent’s Park and elsewhere over the years, but I suppose you can’t win ‘em all!

Whilst even Ms Presley could not make this a good show (it is sadly one which falls fathoms below the standard previously set by the Wimbledon Pantomimes) nonetheless it is worth seeing if only for her performance: The King is dead, long live the Queen!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
by Eric Potts

Director – Ian Talbot
Choreographer Sarah Dean
Set and Costume designer – uncredited
Lighting – David Howe
Sound – Orbital Sound Ltd
Musical director – David Roper

CAST: Priscilla Presley – Warwick Davis –Jarred Christmas – James Austen-Murray – Lizzie Jay-Hughes – LeeCarroll – Peter Burroughs – Hayley Burroughs –Darius Ashard – Danny Blackner – Phil Holden – Pete Bonner – Carl Williams – Hannah Robson – Wade Lewin – Jennifer Grey – Zachary Worrall – Tilly Ford – Jessica Hardy – John Collopy.

Presented by First Family Entertainment
New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 1QG
December 7, 2012 – January 13, 2013
Evenings – 5.30pm & 7pm/Matinees – 1.30pm & 2pm (times dependent on which day)
Box Office: 0870 060 6646