Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown, Charles Court Opera online, stage review: ‘Classic tale with added spice’

Matthew Kellett (centre) plays all seven dwarfs. Photograph: Ali Wright

The Charles Court Opera boutique panto has become a fixture in the discerning reveller’s seasonal calendar.

This year, the 14th annual production has come out of its home at the King’s Head theatre and onto your computer screen.

Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown seizes the predicament of 2020 with its own zany wit and musical dexterity. The storyline is not exactly about Covid, but lockdown jokes add spice to the classic tale.

Meriel Cunningham as Prince Larry’s valet. Photograph: Ali Wright

John Savournin’s towering baritone Snow White is nicely juxtaposed with Emily Cairns’s bouncy Prince Larry and Meriel Cunningham as Larry’s agile valet. Jennie Jacobs does a fabulous Wicked Queen, while Matthew Kellett deploys an impressive array of accents to play all seven dwarfs.

There is no replacing the intimacy of a small theatre, but the hour-long online production does make resourceful use of the substitute medium. Having clicked their way through the pandemic, viewers won’t be surprised to find they are given on-screen options to guide the narrative (albeit with a none-too-subtle hint that their choices make no difference to what they actually see).

If you are finding it a bit difficult to get into the Christmas spirit this year, giggling your way through Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown should set you on the path to festive feeling.

Snow White and the Seven Months of Lockdown by Charles Court Opera runs until 3 January.

You can buy a ticket (only one needed per household) for the adult version here, or for the family version here