This year, AshfordTheatre & Ashford Pantomime are celebrating ten years of local pantomime in Ashford. We couldn’t miss out on the celebrations and so booked our tickets. Rory loved their performance of Peter Pan in 2019 so we thought it’d be a great end of the week treat!
In our usual style, we left it until the last minute to book our tickets and so we were sitting in the back row. This wasn’t at all a problem because the stage is elevated meaning than no matter where you sit, you always have a great view of the show.
We absolutely love a pantomime. This was our third one of the festive season and so it had a lot to live up to. However, Snow White did not disappoint. There was a perfect mix of jokes for grown ups and children. Rory really liked the classic pantomime jokes delivered by Muddles, played by Alan Stamp, who did a fantastic job of bringing the comedy to the show. He was really well supported by Dame Dolly, played by Cass Spence, who arrived in style on a mobility scooter pimped up with fairy lights!
The wonderful thing about a local pantomime for it’s local town is that the writer knows and loves Ashford. This is apparent in the script with little jokes and wonderful nods to the town. The icing on the cake was that the breakfast show DJ from the town’s Community Radio Station , Webbo, was playing the magic mirror.
Pantomime wouldn’t be pantomime without a large dollop of audience participation. Along with the classic calling out of ‘It’s Behind You’ and ‘Oh No It Isn’t’, there was also a trumpet hidden in the audience that had to be played whenever Prince Charming was arriving. Plus, Dame Dolly chose an audience member to flirt with throughout the show. Muddles said to the audience at one point ‘This isn’t the Marlowe, we can see the audience!’ and this is wonderful because it means the cast are constantly bouncing off the reaction of the audience. When Prince Charming kissed Snow White to wake her up, there was a very loud ‘Eurgh’ from a child in the front row causing the cast and audience to fall about laughing and Muddles to announce that ‘We didn’t have that in the rehearsals!’
Pantomime is such an age old tradition that it’s very difficult to incorporate a plot twist. Princess meets Prince, they marry and they all live happily ever after. Much as you’d expect, Muddles was in love with Snow White throughout the performance and we all expected his heart to be broken as Prince Charming saved the day. It was a fantastic modern twist for Prince Charming to fail to wake Snow White with a kiss and rather for Muddles to wake her instead. Even better, Prince Charming then proposed to Dame Dolly!
Snow White was performed by an excellent cast expertly led by Muddles. The juvenile dancers add a great sense of party to the musical numbers. The dwarves were played by younger actors who held their own brilliantly amongst the adults delivering their jokes fantastically and performing some wonderful physical comedy too. We were especially impressed with Sneezy, played by Ellie Shevlin, who was the smallest of dwarves and yet managed to have a big impact and get some huge laughs from the audience!
This is a pantomime with fantastic, eye catching costumes, wonderful singing and dancing, and hilarious jokes. The tickets are extremely reasonably priced meaning that you’re not going to break the bank to take the whole family. (We went as a family of 6 for £52) We would thoroughly recommend it. Rory came away saying it was better than the professional pantomime we saw at the Marlowe!
Don’t worry if you missed out on seeing Snow White this year, tickets are already on sale for 2021 for Dick Whittington from the AshfordTheatre & AshfordPanto website