REVIEW: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until January 7.

Panto fun in Southampton
Panto fun in Southampton

As always, it’s the Mayflower at Southampton which sets the standards for spectacular when it comes to panto.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is huge on high-tech oomph, with its brightness and colours, its flying dragon and its magic floating mirror.

But it’s the age-old skills of The Chuckle Brothers as the Wicked Queen’s bumbling Henchmen which give the show its beating heart.

They are simply brilliant, effortlessly enjoyable with the sheer silliness of an act honed over the years and the complete understanding of the real-life brothers that they are.

Their gymnastics are hilarious, as are their antics with a cucumber – saucy, good-natured and fun.

And the great thing is, though the show gives them plenty of space, they don’t remotely slow down a panto which still manages to romp along and doesn’t stay a moment too long in a year when lots of competitors need to learn that less might be more.

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood adds plenty of camp innuendo and glamour as the Wicked Queen; Charlotte Haines makes for a lovely Snow White; and Oliver Savile is excellent as the Prince Harry.

It’s a little bit difficult to see what Britain's Got Talent finalists Flawless add to the mix – unless, presumably, you are a fan. Otherwise they feel just a little bit bolted on.

But the dwarfs are very nicely done – all part of a package which delivers beautifully while adding some new twists. Watch out, dads… it’s not the kids that get invited onto the stage in this particular pantomime!

Phil Hewitt