Having produced the previous five shows, Dennis Willis decided to go back on stage. He last trod the board in 2007’s Cinderella. The producer job went to a team of three co-producers, all called Steve: Mr Clayton, Mr Eddison and Mr Atkinson. It seems to be the first time that three people have co-produced.
The title of the show is perhaps a subject for the Trade Descriptions people: there were actually eight dwarfs, allowing us a few extra jokes as Snow White tries to count them. Plus they weren’t exactly dwarfs….
Not surprisingly, the addition of dwarfs makes for a very large cast on stage: 57, in fact. The last time we had this many people was (as you might expect) when we last did Snow White 17 years ago …. Ken Fielding’s script for this 1996 production was actually used (with his permission!) to provide the structure of the story, then heavily modified to bring it up-to-date, and to fit the current list of characters.
This many people makes wardrobe a bigger job than usual. Jackie Willis and Cherry Lake are the wardrobe ladies again, for 13 years and 8 years respectively, but both had announced that this was to be their last one. Jackie will stay in the chorus for next year, but Cherry has decided to leave.
Callam and Ewan Fellows join, having appeared in the previous Variety show. Charlotte Branson re-joins as Snow White, having been a dancer back in 2008. Keeley Camilleri also rejoins as the Prince, after a four-year gap. Robin Moorby was cast as Pops, the “head” dwarf, having made a memorable debut as the Dormouse in 2011. Finally, Steve Ledwood got his first speaking part as the Mirror, having joined last year as Frankenstein’s monster. He also played the Gorilla, perhaps to keep his hand in with non-speaking parts!
Kathy Allan took over the painting of the scenery, after Harold Hudson decided to leave. She also appeared on stage as the evil Queen. The last time we did this show, 17 years ago, she was Snow White and Lyn Loxley was the Queen.