Siobhan Godwood checks out Cambridge Junction's Christmas show offering
The stage is almost bare, with just a few naked branches and a rail of clothes at the side. But from the moment that Snow White walks on to the stage, singing her mournful song, it becomes clear that this is a production that doesn’t need elaborate props or a fancy set, as the performers have the power to draw the audience right in to the story and keep them there until the very end.
The staging is deliberately minimalist, to give the cast, playing multiple roles and often multiple musical instruments, the space to really explore the characters and manipulate the traditional fairy tale tropes for a modern audience.
Forget everything you think you know about Snow White: New International Encounter’s production has no dwarves – they’ve been replaced by the ‘seven’ vegan eco-warriors, living off grid in the forest.
There’s also no handsome prince, swooping in to rescue Snow White with his true love’s kiss; wake up, people, it’s 2018! Instead, the handsome hero is someone the heroine actually knows.
The audience at the first night were completely captivated, and although it’s not a traditional ‘panto’ by any means, the staging and the script allow the actors to interact with their audience and to improvise enough to make the story feel really spontaneous and immediate.
It’s impossible to pull out one actor for specific praise, as each and every one of them was by turns hilarious, terrifying or heartbreaking, and the original music and dialogue made this production feel both incredibly fresh and reassuringly familiar. A truly magical, modern fairy-tale Christmas experience for young and old.
Snow White runs until 31 December at Cambridge Junction, show times vary. Book your tickets here.