BWW Review: SCROOGE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES, Theatre503, 28 November 2016
Theatre503 hosts the premiere of Sleeping Trees' new pantomime, Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves. After the huge success of Cinderella and the Beanstalk, the award-winning trio are back with a brand new, original, muscles-aching-from-laughter show.
Directed by Simon Evans, our unlikely hero Ebenezer Scrooge sets out on the adventure of a lifetime after the Wicked Witch stole all the Christmas spirit in the world to prevent Santa Claus from delivering his presents to children. He'll be helped along the way by several unexpected popular characters.
In a concoction made from different well-known pantomimes, fairy tales and other stories, Sleeping Trees have their audiences enthralled. On a rather bare, hand-painted stage, with a factotum musician (Ben Hales, who is also the composer) relegated to a corner, John Woodburn, James Donnell-Smith, and Joshua Gorge Smith take us on a journey that ranges all over from Victorian England to the Emerald City, and from Lapland to the land of fairy tales.
Witty, clever, and enthusiastic, Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves is a 90-minute hoot. The trio's comedic timing, dexterity and tongue-in-cheek jokes are heightened even more by the intimate setting, which helps the interactions with the audience and is key to them getting specific responses.
The show is definitely family-friendly, as the younger viewers won't understand some of the more grown-up allusions and will be amused and entertained by the mash-up of characters -plus they'll certainly love all the interactive bits.
Crafted in a way in which even if something goes wrong, it's right anyway, the show runs smoothly because of its writers/performers, who demonstrate huge ease when improvising and seem to have as much fun performing their material as their audiences have attending the show. Impeccable.
Photo by David Monteith-Hodge.