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SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS - 6th December 2014 - 11th January 2015

The absolute star of the show, in my eyes, was Ben Nickless as Muddles, returning to the Theatre Royal once again as an absolute show-stealer. Last year he played Smee to David Hasselhoff's Hook and was truly brilliant. This year, as Snow White's best friend Muddles, he stole the show once again. He arrived by dodgem car and stood out all the way through, taking part in a fabulous Elvis impersonation, taking the Nutcracker ballet to a whole other level, and keeping Lesley Joseph on her toes - literally - during the 12 Days of Christmas. His relationship with the other actors was superb, and was the main cause of any corpsing on stage. All in all, Snow White is a festive treat. If you only make it to one panto this year, make it this one. You won't regret it. Burton Mail, 12/2014

When a stage shows dramatic finale has one main character dressed as Buzz Lightyear, another male lead dressed as a woman and a former Dancing on Ice champion saving a damsel in distress, it can only mean panto season has docked. And what a panto the Theatre Royal has in store for young and old alike this year (insert obligatory "oh yes it does" line in here...). With stunning special effects, lighting wizardry, epic sets and plenty of boos and hisses, this production is an ideal way to kick-start your knee-slapping Christmas. The Buzz Lightyear in question is a welcome return for Ben Nickless, whose Mr Smee was the highlight of last year's panto, Peter Pan, and who was at his scene-stealing best again this year as Snow White's best friend Muddles. Nickless was a feature in the trio of stand-out slapstick moments, watch out for a hilarious broken-record Elvis, classic ballet as you've never seen it before and his stunt in a farcical rendition of 12 Days of Christmas which truly broke the mould. Smee, sorry, Muddles was joined by veteran of 23 Pantomime Dame seasons, Andrew Ryan, for a ballet sequence which will ensure Swan Lake and The Nutcracker never look quite the same again. Smee/Muddles arrived via dodgem car moments later and was straight into cutting-edge technolgy gags with a little help from Siri, the 'intelligent personal assistant' (Wikipedia told me to say that) we know and loathe from various Apple products. 'Smuddles' and Nurse Nelly aside, there were plenty of other strong performances. Paul Hindle, Nottingham Post, 12/2014



© Andrea H/Ben Nickless 2006 - 2017

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