Post-Christmas might seem an odd time to enjoy a theatre tradition associated with the festive period, but one of the big bonuses for panto-goers is that this Hippodrome run extends the season so we can kind of enjoy Christmas twice.
This year’s superb Hippodrome show has been charming audiences for weeks now, but even near the end of its seasonal run I can honestly say there was not a single sign of battle fatique on show the night I saw it – in fact every single gag and silly moment was served up just as fresh as if it had been run for the very first time.
In the superb cast of this marvellously colourful production Faye Brookes makes a lovely Snow White, while Jac Yarrow is the necessarily handsome suitor for her hand as Prince Harry of Harborne.
It goes without saying there are a magnificent Seven Dwarfs, while singing star Joe McElderry makes a charmingly musical Spirit of the Mirror.
Andrew Ryan fills the essential drag role as the effortlessly funny Nanny Annie Aspirin with the iconic Lesley Joseph as Queen Dragonella.
And just to give this Midlands masterpiece the necessary grist to its mill the Black Country’s very own diva Doreen Tipton has a prominent place at court as a lady in waiting.
Add in the explosively acrobatic troupe Flawless as the Queen’s Guards and you have the variety show of all time.
No one takes themselves too seriously so it’s fun all the way, and of course it’s got Matt Slack as its irresistibly, indeed convulsively funny ringmaster who keeps the whole show on the road.
The season of misrule’s still alive and well in Brum and it wasn’t even slightly surprising that the friendly audience gave it a well-deserved standing ovation. All I can say is – guys, see you again, with any luck, next year.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at the Hippodrome until 2nd February. For tickets and information phone 0844 338 5000.