STURMINSTER Newton Amateur Dramatic Society is 90 years old this year – a remarkable age by any standards. So it’s great to be able to report that the group is looking good for its years – and for the future, with lots of new young talent on stage for this year’s pantomime.
As Snow White director Craig White says: “They are our future.” And with talents like Sophie Revell as a Snow White who sings like a nightingale, Alice Ralph as thigh-slapping principal boy Prince Ferdinand, and Matthew Rawson, as a deliciously camp Merlin the Mirror, SNADS should be good for several more decades.
The show tells the familiar story, but with some nice contemporary additions, including a lot of clever techie word play from Mr Justice Quill (Trevor Puckett) cand his distinctly tech-phobic assistant Scribbles (Steve Bennett).
It was also good to see Craig White introducing some traditional pantomime business, most notably the famous mirror mime which is so difficult to pull off and was a perennial favourite with the wonderful dame, Jack Tripp, and veteran comic Roy Hudd.
Sturminster’s duo were the fiendish wicked Queen Avarice (Fiona Dewett, with a laugh that would shatter all but the strongest mirror glass) and SNADS’ own great dame, Ian Greig, here playing the palace housekeeper, Edna Bucket.
The dame also has some excellent knockabout comic routines with Tania White’s colourful jester Chuckles, who really does know how to deliver even the most excruciating one-liners!
The dwarfs are a great team, each character clearly drawn, with well-coordinated singing and movement. The children’s woodland animals ballet scene was charming and the senior chorus was in good voice.
The costumes, by Annie Henschel and her team, were delightful, and special congratulations to Ann Baseden, who is not only the rolling, tumbling bear, but also responsible for the wicked queen’s costume, hair and make-up.
The sets are mainly simple to keep the action moving, but one stands out – designers Trevor Puckett and Jenny Powell and their set builders and painters have created a charming and clever cottage for the seven dwarfs.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs continues at the Exchange, Sturminster Newton, until Saturday 15th February.