Snow White, Cork Opera House
Why do six out of seven pantomime dwarves almost always have different names than the Walt Disney film? According to theatre legend, the American entertainment conglomerate had copyrighted all of the names in the film except for Sneezy. So, anybody putting on their own adaptation of the Brothers Grimm tale has to be careful about which half-dozen names they do choose.
Not that any of this makes a difference to a hugely enjoyable panto at Cork Opera House.
The sets and costumes are particularly impressive as we’re transported from royal castle to verdant woodland to the dwarfs’ house.
And, even in the midst of a refreshingly traditional panto, you’re never far from a topical reference. Fidget spinners, JoJo bows and Nutribullets all get a mention, while witty memes feature the likes of Jon Snow, the bike-riding kids from Stranger Things, and the hilarious Kerry bat family.
Cork’s near neighbours also get stick in the form of a Danny Healy-Rae jibe, while a panto in the real capital wouldn’t be complete without a dig at Dubliners. Nanny Nellie talking about an item of clothing: “It’s a bit like Shamrock Rovers — very little support and no cups!”
But for once, Frank Mackey’s great dame (‘Ya dirty-lookin eejit’) doesn’t totally steal the show, with Yorkshire actor Adam Colbeck-Dunn (pictured) as Muddles, swish-swishing his way into all our hearts.
Dad Gripe: We probably shouldn’t expect pantos to be bastions of PC-ness, but given the stories emanating from the entertainment world this year, do we really need a scene where a boy cons a girl into letting him kiss her?
Junior reviewer’s reaction to Dad Gripe: “Ah, you just have no sense of humour.”
No prizes for guessing that the dance-along finale is ‘Despacito’, or that the humourless dads in the audience sink further in their children’s estimation for an epic fail at trying to master the moves.
Great fun overall, however. Even dwarfs named Grumpy, Grouchy or Sulky would agree.
Run dates: Until January 21.
Start times: Tues–Fri, 7pm; Saturday 2pm & 7pm; Sunday 1pm & 6pm.
Finish time: Our show kicked off about 7pm and ended close to 9.45pm
Price: €27.50-€35 for individual tickets; Four-person family pass is €90-€130. (Phone and online incur booking fees)
Availability: Much of December is already sold out (some tickets left for Tues 19 and Fri 22), so January may be your best option.
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