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Snow White - Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds (24.11.2023)

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

It would take the most curmudgeonly of souls not to take joy from panto, and particularly one as joy-filled as Snow White. And I'm not a curmudgeon.

From the moment Philippa Carson stepped on stage, introduced herself as Gladys, and cracked a few jokes, we knew we were in safe hands. Here on in we were introduced to a host of great characters, including Peter Baker's snooty Royal Aide, Grumble, Craig Painting as the ridiculous dame Dusty Crevice, and Beth Tuckey as the dastardly Queen Lucretia.

There was an absolute tonne of jokes squeezed into the script by writer Chris Hannon, and apart from a touch of necessary filler, there was very little let-up in pace.

I felt the song choices could have been better, as they were either over-sentimental or just ill-suited to the performers. Having said that, the duet between Peter Baker and Beth Tuckey to a reworded version of Something Stupid was very funny.

One highlight of the show was the scouts, played by the youth company. These roles were not just written in as token parts for young people where they get to dress in cute costumes so their relatives can coo over them. No, these young actors were right in the thick of it, playing fundamental roles in the narrative and giving us a brilliant demonstration particularly of their singing and dancing abilities along the way.

Keeping the show on track at all times was the brilliant comic duo of Philippa Carson and Craig Painting - an electric force of high energy and cheesy gags. A special mention to Peter Baker too, whose bandy legs did so much comedy work by themselves, they almost warranted an extra character. They (Peter, that is, not their legs) gave a superb all-round performance as a comedic villain.

Why not grab yourself a big ole chunk of joy this festive season, and visit Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds - Snow White continues until the 14th January.


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