Monday, April 22

The Snow Queen – The Atkinson, Southport

Panto’s back! What a lovely evening of entertainment for all of the family at The Atkinson this evening. After such a long break the last couple of years it was truly nostalgic to hear the audience participation again.

All Souls Dramatic Club have done a great job on this modern twist of Hans Christian Andersen ‘s classic; But don’t be expecting any Elsa and Anna, I don’t want to spoil too much as it was opening night and you may wish to go to watch but I will say ‘The Snow Queen’ had some classic pantomime elements, mixed in with a contemporary musical score and twists of a darker tale.

The stage was set very bare other than the band who were visible throughout on the second level with staircases either side leading down to the main performance area. The live band, led by Adam Dutch, were incredible, a true credit to the show. At one point I even saw pianist Chris Rimmer break into lead vocals. The music included songs from Adele to Les Misérables.

A couple of outstanding performances tonight, I’ll try to remember as many as possible, it was a large ensemble cast with loads of cameo roles.

John Delahunty was great as Kai, his rendition of Evan Hansen’s ‘You will be found’ was heart-warming.

Butch played by Ian Lawson was fantastic as ever and formed a comedy genius duo with the dame, Cliff Gillies, who also created the quick-witted script, packed with innuendo and one liners.

The voice overs and announcements provided by Steve Coghlan and Liz Wainwright set the scene for a magical evening to come.

The choreography was nice and clean and well executed, particularly by the children from ‘So Talented’ As always, the costumes, shoes and accessories were perfect.

Kelly Andersen as Snow White gave us some great comedy moments.

The beautiful Chloe Hughes as the snow queen, commanded the stage in her fabulous costume, leading the cast also as vocal coach. Visually the polar opposite to what you’d expect from a panto villain.

A standout moment for me being the use of sign language from a pint-sized Tinkerbelle, Jenny Roby and one ensemble number’s incorporating sign language into the choreography.

Big shout out to the technical crew, a fantastic lighting design and use of snow effects.

If anything for me the first half was too long lasting until around 8.50pm and the second half felt rushed and like the story had jumped significantly. The story was jam packed with music and in parts we needed more acting less singing to portray the storyline. That being said I enjoyed it, and so did the audience.

The show started promptly at 7.30pm, then a short interval and the second half concluded slightly after 10pm.

As always, a lovely welcome form All Souls, very kind hospitality and I hope to be back next year.

The run starts 13th January and runs until 16th then with further performances between the 20th and 23rd at The Atkinson.

Get your tickets now, don’t miss out.

Reviewer: Rebecca Casey

Reviewed: 13th January 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★