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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

SNOW WHITE (article first published : 2005-12-3)

There’s a saying in the entertainment industry – don’t work with children or animals because they steal the show! Add to that now, seven delightful dwarves as seen in KickstArt’s festive season’s production of Show White and the Seven Dwarves who entrance audiences in a production that is a delight from start to finish.

The dwarves have a difficult act – or acts – to follow because every member of this energetic and highly focused cast is a scene stealer. Pool the talents of Carol Trench, Darren King, Marion Loudon, Bryan Hiles, Olivia Borgen and Ntando Cele and you know you’re in for a wonderful evening’s entertainment for the whole family. Tonight, youngsters and adults alike were supporting the hero, booing the baddie and responding with gusto in the audience participation numbers.

KickstArt have pulled off another hat trick after last year’s endearing Cinderella. Snow White is directed by Steven Stead who has also created the highly amusing script and designed by Greg King. Individually, and collectively as KickstArt, the pair walked off with numerous awards at the recent Durban Theatre Awards for their productions over the past year.

Consummate actress that she is, Carol Trench makes Snow White charming and ingenuous without being sugary and simpering. Magnificently dressed, Darren King’s considerable experience and ability give a robust wicked energy to the role of The Wicked Queen Malicia. There was a young boy sitting close to us who was all for heading towards the stage to do her in, he was so incensed by her evil actions!

Marion Louden – those long legs giving her a real advantage in skin tight pants and high heeled boots – was a suitably ardent Prince Valiant (pantomime heroes are traditionally played by women). As her ship’s mate, Zanzibar Jack, Ntando Cele proved that apart from a strong singing voice she has a good flair for comedy. Most of the fun comes from Bryan Hiles as the huntsman Tom Trueshot and Olivia Borgen as Polly Pumpkinseed, the maid with an allergy to dust! They have some delicious scenes together.

KickstArt have dubbed pantomimes like Cinderella and Snow White “postage stamp pantomimes” and knowing the size of Kwasuka’s stage extremely well, I can only take my hat off to Greg for taking full advantage of a comparatively small space and manoeuvring sets around to create different scenes. All kudos to those backstage who must be working like Trojans! I loved the scene where Snow White wakes up in the dwarves’ home. The scale makes her look positively gigantic compared to the miniscule cutlery, tiny beds, pillows, plates and staircase!

Most of the costumes have come from the State Theatre in Pretoria with some extra assistance from Ali Cassels. Visually the pantomime is wondrously sumptuous and splendid. You find yourself forgetting the space limitations of the stage!

Snow White runs until December 31 with evening performances Tuesday to Saturday at 19h00 (Sundays at 16h00). Matinees on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 14h30. While there is no performance on Christmas Day, there will be a Boxing Day matinee at 14h30. All seating is reserved and bookings can be made at Computicket. R65 and (R50 pensioners and children under 12). Don’t miss it! – Caroline Smart




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