Family theatre group introduces holiday panto

Traditional Snow White story gets amped up with local lore

Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People brings the pantomime featuring Snow White

A Snow White like no other takes the stage this winter.

“It’s based on the original Grimm. You take a leap from Walt Disney, then because it’s panto it has all these strange elements. In addition to the usual characters you end up with Prince Valiant, Simple Simon and Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee,” said Marcus Handman, general manager and producer of Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People.

The Oak Bay resident says the seasonal show fills a space between Christmas and New Year, lighting the dark stage at McPherson.

“Traditionally we have done a musical in the fall and we’ve had some good success, but we wanted to do something more family oriented and more what Kaleidoscope is supposed to be about,” Handman said. “Then there’s that whole stretch between Boxing Day and when the kids go back to school and everybody’s home and looking for things to do.”

Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People brings Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs in a hilarious adaptation by director Stephen Andrew, to the McPherson stage Dec. 27, 28 and 29.

“It’s been a dream to bring a British panto back to the McPherson Playhouse,” said Andrew. “Twenty years ago members of the theatre’s crew and I were sitting backstage talking about how much fun it would be – and here we are.”

In fine panto tradition, famous Victoria faces on stage include Astrid Braunschmidt and Ed Bain while inside jokes featuring local references abound in the script.

“The Seven Dwarves also have some familiar dwarves, but there will be some unfamiliar dwarves as well,” Handman said. “Six of the seven dwarves are played by children – there’s a nice surprise about the seventh dwarf. These kids are so talented, so that’s been a treat for us watching this all come together. … They’re so enthusiastic, young and talented that the adults feed off of it. It’s a neat working environment, the rehearsal process.”

The production features the traditional pantomime singing, dancing, double entendre, mistaken identity and a topsy-turvy makeover of the classic tale audiences know and love.

Following the basic structure of the classic fairy tale, Snow White finds herself hiding in the woods from the Evil Queen, finding solace with a rag-tag group of seven dwarves. This time, however, she has a few new faces to help her out. With the help of Nurse Tickle, Simple Simon and Prince Valiant, Snow White escapes the clutches of the Evil Queen.

“It is a musical with a live band so there’s lots of singing and dancing and carrying on and lots of chances to boo the villains and cheer on the good guys,” Handman said.

“This is a test for us, we’re selling very well so far, this could become an annual event for us,” Handman said. “We think it will make a nice mix for our audience, quite different from what we do on our MainStage.”

Get tickets, $45/$25, for Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at www.rmts.bc.ca or in person at McPherson Playhouse.

 

Just Posted

Uplands Park designated a national heritage site

Feds make $4.3 million announcement in Oak Bay

Protester threatens citizens arrest during morning federal funding announcement in Oak Bay

Police escort protester away after confronting federal minister

Oak Bay police arrest one of two suspects after resident held at gunpoint

Police expect second arrest ‘in the very near future’ after armed robbery

Victoria firefighters free ensnared seagull

BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre and animal control also responded

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read