How do you tell one of the best known fairy tales in a new way? By assembling a cast of more than 200 and turning the very idea of storytelling on its head.
As matron, Bethany Gregory is a steadfast guide for both the audience and her young charges – particularly the principle quartet of orphans (Louise Waller, Charlotte Boys, Katie Wilkinson and Luke Hull) who are present and in character for almost the entire piece – as the traditional story of Snow White is thoroughly messed with.
There is still an evil stepmother (a spiky Eleanor Robinson), a prince charming (Charlie Knowlton-Rayner) and a magic mirror (the beautifully-voiced Kirsty Hobson), and of course Snow White herself (calmly and enigmatically portrayed by Grace Durbin).
The rest, however is up for grabs, as the characters come alive in a complex musical within a musical.
Jack Bannon shines as the evil queen’s henchman, with comic turns too from Gabriella Gymer-Davies as nurse and Sam Payne as robber Jock.
With a large supporting cast rotating throughout the run this is an impressive technical feat as well as an artistic one, and the band – led by Charlie Caine – provide unrelenting support too.
An audacious and original production whose young and enthusiastic cast deliver all that it promises.