Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown

John Savournin, Matthew Kellett, Meriel Cunningham of Charles Court Opera

John Savournin, Matthew Kellett, Meriel Cunningham in Snow White In The Seven Months of Lockdown - Credit: Ali Wright/Matthew Kellett

King's Head Theatre, Islington


Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in Islington without the annual Charles Court Opera panto - and fans needn't fear that Covid would prevent them cracking out the innuendos and soaring harmonies.

Artistic director John Savournin - who gamely dons a frock to star - has penned a virtual pandemic panto, complete with numbers about lockdown and mask-wearing, and a beefed up part for sneezy.

A crowdfunding campaign this summer, led by local couple Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard, helped raise more than £100,000 to keep the King's Head afloat, so it's fitting that they get a starring role as the villainous Men In The Mirror, urging Jennie Jacob's cackling Queen onto increasing acts of evil.

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As ever, there's a family friendly version with swearwords and sauciness excised, but at core it's a heart-warming hour about loveable Snow White grieving for her late husband Barry, who finds love in the arms of lycra-clad Prince Larry.

John Savournin as Snow White

John Savournin as Snow White - Credit: Ali Wright

And it turns out the evil Queen was just suffering from a nasty dose of lockdown loneliness when she tried to blow up Snow and poison the Prince.  New for this year is a fun interactive element where the action pauses for us to vote on what the character should do next.

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The whole production looks great, and of course top class singers bring their fabulous pipes to the party -  a pop song mash up riffing around Pachelbel's Cannon was pure genius. The gags will make you titter, the story will warm your cockles, and what's not to love about a heaven sent appearance from The Walrus of Love?

Jennie Jacobs as The Wicked Queen

Jennie Jacobs as The Wicked Queen - Credit: Ali Wright

Tickets raise much-needed funds to ensure the whole shebang can survive until next Christmas, so tune in, do some good, do yourself some good.

Runs until January 3.

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