Big role for Snow White panto’s youngsters

FINDING seven dwarfs to look after Snow White when she gets abandoned in the dark forest turned out to be a tall order for the Company of Four.

Thirty seven youngsters turned up to a selection day last year, with 21 of them showing off their acting, singing and dancing skills at two all-day workshops.

“We had more lads auditioning than girls, but only one lad made the final seven.

“They had to be good all-rounders and it was very difficult,” says writer Mike Brown, who is co-directing and producing the family pantomime with fellow company member Paul Leech. Musical direction comes in the form of Jo King.

The 65-plus strong cast from across the area started rehearsals for the show last November.

It sees Amelia Brown in her first principal role as Princess Snow White.

“She’s very, very pleased. Amelia’s applied for other principal roles before but didn’t get them. I can remember her saying to somebody ‘I’m 26 this year, I’m going to try to get one soon otherwise I’ll just be out of the age range’,” laughs Mike.

Most Read

“She’s very good and doing very well indeed; she interacts well with the dwarves.”

To the dismay of her nanny, Dame Nurse Nitty Nora (Paul), Snow White falls in love with a visiting prince (Catherine Dale) who’s on a mission for his father to find the Queen (Jan Willis), reportedly the fairest in the land.

Thanks to her not quite loyal magic mirror (Vicky Hart), the Queen discovers Snow White has usurped her so recruits oddball twin brothers Dunn and Dusted (Mick Hadcraft and Neil Thorpe) to lose the youngster in the dark forest forever.

Enter Prof, Grumble, Cheerful, Sniffly, Dosey, Silly and Shyly, who try to keep her from the evil Queen’s clutches.

The tale is narrated by the very flamboyant Fairy Liquid, played by Oliver Fosker.

“In the real Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs there is no fairy, but in panto you can get away with anything. Oliver’s basing himself on the late Kenneth Williams and going to be dressed a bit like Quentin Crisp with a cane instead of a wand,” adds Mike.

“We wanted to give as many people who’d never really had principal roles in the company a chance this time around. When he auditioned he nailed that part for himself, it’s superb.

“That’s a sort of new concept we’ve never tried before, but his part is quite funny and we hope it will go down well with the audiences.”

Of course, no Company of Four pantomime would be complete without a cameo appearance from much-loved member June Allum.

Not one to take on big parts now, she can be regularly seen riding around Woodbridge in her mobility buggy. It’ll be transformed into a cop car as she plays a police woman who needs the audience’s help to stop a persistent burglar stealing Snow White’s 18th birthday presents.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at The Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, from February 18-26.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter