Snow White is a fairy tale as old as time, but Chickenshed Theatre‘s exciting and progressive production gifts the audience a vibrant, psychedelic and heart-warming merry tale. The production spins the original, somewhat outdated story of Snow White on its head and adds a whole new 1960’s element, glittered with specks of wholesome charm. William Fricker’s whimsical and wacky set is wonderfully impressive and sets the aesthetic for a family friendly show that doesn’t stop impressing and charming.
A cast of over 200 members, which on paper what would be a mammoth organisational nightmare, performs on stage like a dream. Chickenshed offers youth theatre workshops to over 800 members, and four different casts of 200 take it turns each night to perform alongside the core cast members. The complicity between the ensemble and the main cast is
magical to watch and is enhanced by playful choreography and kooky characterisations. The ensemble costume change and dance their way from one wacky world to the next, never allowing the energy to drop.
An original soundtrack is performed effortlessly, accompanied by a live band, performing above and behind the staging. Cara McInanny plays a sensitive Snow White and delights the audience with her soulful, honeyed vocals. The show is abundant with strong vocals and catchy, original songs that tap toes and warm hearts better than mulled wine. Sarah Connolly’s deliciously wicked stepmother is nicely contrasted with Jonny Morton’s lovable doormat characterisation of Snow White’s father. The piece retains flavours of the original story, but creates a re-telling that takes the audience to the 1960s, a decade that demanded change and activism. A decade which is stylistically very different to 2019, but is paralleled in a demand for change. Writer and director Lou Stein superbly creates a show that is inventive and perceptive without feeling at all forced. No dwarves or ‘High Hos’ can be seen or heard, but instead seven different groups of forest misfits befriend Snow White and offer a fun and welcome alternative to the slightly antiquated original.
There are countless great performances and some stand out performances, include Nathanial Leigertwood as the charismatic security guard / love interest and Ashley Driver as the brazen, sparkling mirror. But dancing their way around the glittering set, the real gems of the show are the ensemble members who pack the piece with zest and infectious energy. The diverse cast and inclusive ethos of Chickenshed Theatre make this a unique and fun fuelled festive show. Snow White is a gorgeous production for all the family, brimming with wit and exciting storytelling, not to mention a remarkable array of costumes, live music and songs.
Writer & Director: Lou Stein
Set and costume design: William Fricker
Production Manager: Zeeta Jacobs
Booking Link: https://www.chickenshed.org.uk/event/snow-white
Booking Until: 11 January 2020