At Christmas Charles Court Opera puts aside its more traditional programme and comes up with a panto, written, directed and performed by its star John Savournin – what a clever lad.
And if you’re in the market for a crackpot panto filled with awful, groan-inducing gags, a bit of pastry-bombing, the potty concept of one man playing seven very small parts and one large man playing one big part, then Mirror Mirror at London’s King’s Head Theatre is for you.
The production is rather rough around the edges, aided and abetted by a fairly ropey set crammed into a small performance space. It could do with polishing but that’s half its charm. You can’t help but giggle at Savournin’s rubber face, a velvet turd on top of his head, and a ready quip.
This festive show’s opening night crowd on Tuesday was almost entirely adult and they all had a cracking time. I’m not so sure a younger audience would get a lot of the jokes and I’d lay money on them not knowing who Barry White is.
Matthew Kellett is kept busy playing all seven dwarfs which, we soon learn, have all been given name changes due to copyright issues with Disney – or that may just be another joke. Anyway, it made us laugh.
One minute he’s Half-Baked, a bit high (whoa!) and, whoosh, he’s another and another, all far more fun than the original gang of little miners.
The show’s songs are all familiar but given a slight operatic twist. Don’t expect full-on Don Giovanni. There’s a bit of Queen, Michael Jackson, Gloria Gaynor, Barry, of course, and Abba.
Andrea Tweedale makes a substantial Wicked Queen wearing enough glitz and bling to light up the theatre while Nichola Jolley and Amy Payne deliver a nice cross-dressing double act as the prince, Larry Black, and his valet.
No reflection on the rest of the cast but Mirror Mirror really is Savournin’s vehicle and he dominates throughout.
Mirror Mirror runs at the King’s Head Theatre until January 9.
Charles Court Opera moves to Islington for Mirror Mirror, its hysterical skit on the Snow White panto, starring John Savournin and Andrea Tweedale. Rough around the edges but funny nonetheless.