It’s difficult to play around with a tried and tested recipe for Panto. Although the audience keeps coming back for the traditions they love and know, they also want to see something new and fresh. And as always, Janice Honeyman and her team always deliver. This year’s Snow White Panto placed focus on the story telling, with the narrative at the forefront. It was lightly sprinkled with political puns, sponsored mentions and theatrical tricks, but heavily filled with strong performers of a talented cast, high-energy and modern choreography by Nicol Sheraton and a lavish set that sparkled from every angle.
There’s the familiarity of Panto favourites like the sing and dance with the audience, the “Oh no I didn’t” “Oh yes you did” banter, along with some others. But there’s always new surprises around every corner that keep your eyes glued to every moment. Especially with a brilliant, high-quality 3D experience that had the audience, both kids and adults alike, screaming, laughing and mesmerised. Guided along by the 7 Dwarfs, it was a truly immersive experience that combined both live theatre and film in one exciting and thrilling adventure.
Celebrity lead Desmond Dube as Dame Dolls Dludlu i’Diddledaddledoodle (try say that more than once!), quickly befriended the audience through his natural charm and humour as he narrated us through the story. An unconventional God-Mother to Snow White, his loveable character brought the story closer to home in South Africa. Ben Voss was phenomenal as Queen Hildegonda Hurl-A-Lot, where he fully delved into the character and gave us some of the best comedic lines that he quickly threw at the audience without over-indulging. While John Robbie was the most out of character we’ve ever seen him, and it was worth every minute. From dancing with a bowl of fruit over his head to wiggling his hips, you couldn’t help but cheer him on in his role as Norman Knockiknees, the Major Dumb-Ou.
The cast of strong performers was led by Kiruna-Lind Devar as Snow White, who’s incredible ballet and vocal training stood out. Not to mention her lovable smile and charisma that makes Snow White who she is. Noni Mkhonto and Sne Dladla, as Dudu and Dompie, were a crowd favourite that provided entertaining humour without being too slapstick. With the exception of a few misplaced American accents, the cast seemed to work well together with beautiful animated performances and never ‘dropped the ball’ including when poor Snow White had a wardrobe malfunction.
This year’s Panto is a little more meatier for the adults, and little more immersive for the kids. It’s packaged as the perfect family entertainment for everyone. It will only get better as the run continues until the 23rd of December, and the cast lose their opening night jitters and sink into their roles. It’s a ton of fun, lots of laughs, so nice you want to watch it twice! (Or more!)
Performance times vary according to the Festive Season schedule – consult www.joburgtheatre.com to get exact dates and times.
Tickets range from R245 – R375 and can be booked at www.joburgtheatre.com or by calling 0861 670 670. Theatre patrons can also book online and pay at selected Pick N Pay stores.
A fabulous range of discounted rates for groups is available by calling the theatre’s VIP Ticketing office on (011) 877 6853.
Snow White is presented by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay in association with the panto’s much valued and long-term partners, MNet, 94.2 Jacaranda FM and Your Family Magazine.
*Images with permission from The CoLab Network.