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.
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?
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.