REVIEW: ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, Sion Baptist Church, Burnley

Snow White(Sophie Layfield) and the Seven Dwarfs at Zion Baptist Church
Snow White(Sophie Layfield) and the Seven Dwarfs at Zion Baptist Church

SEVEN cute little dwarfs dancing “Gangnam Style” have been stealing the show at Sion Baptist Church last week.

Well they certainly did last Tuesday when the church pantomime society opened its five-day run of “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs”.

All members of the church “Shoots” group, the boys and girls – Eloise Clegg, Aidan Gallagher, Faith Hitchon, Abby Lawless, Nathan Porter, Emily Todd and Ethan Waters – enthralled the audience every time they hi ho’d onto the stage and their “Gangnam Style” dancing was hilarious.

Director Jo Williams has put together a panto that is very traditional; the dwarfs are small and cute, the jokes corny, the dame diabolically dressed and the slapstick super. Add to the mix the evil queen, a cheeky magic mirror, a baking scene complete with custard pies, a great principal boy and girl pairing and you have a winning formula.

There was a really good crowd on opening night and the children were laughing out loud even before it started when warm-up man the Rev. Andy Williams did such a good job I think they should have him in the cast next year.

Then they were off with the principals and chorus singing, dancing and joking their way through to the finale that proved much more explosive than the action down the road at Turf Moor where Burnley were playing out a 0-0 draw.

The first impression of this show, which runs until tomorrow, is the colourful backdrops which really set the scene and are only outdone by the brightness of the dresses worn by Dame Clarissa, as ever expertly played by Gordon Tattersall. His sidekick Muddles is played with enthusiasm by Mark Lawless and they bring the comedy to the show, helped this year by Norma Tattersall who I loved as the magic mirror with an attitude and a mind of her own, until she is finally freed from her spell and we discover she is the missing Avon lady.

Well done to Sophie Layfield who has been in the chorus for 12 years but has moved on to principal girl taking on the role of Snow White. She played a lovely part, along with the always excellent Amy Tattersall as Prince Valiant, and their duets were splendid.

Marcia Turner is in her 25th Sion panto and she made the part of evil queen Evilynn her own, a baddie with a wicked glint in her eye, just the opposite of her oppo, the good Fairy Flora, played by Angela Duckworth.

Like most opening nights there were a few nerves which led to a bit of line dropping, but the main hitch on Tuesday was a problem with the sound. However, producer Craig Needham and his team were quick to act and it was soon resolved. It’s not the problem, it’s how you deal with it that people remember, and Sion dealt with it well.

In fact well done to this whole church “family” who, yet again, put a lot of effort into putting on a great family show for the town. Snow White finds her prince, the evil one is defeated, and panto is alive and well in Burnley.

MARGARET PARSONS