Millennium Forum Panto is a riot of laughs from start to finish

Snow White in the Millennium forum pantomime
Snow White in the Millennium forum pantomime

The number one rule for attending the pantomime is, if you don’t want to get heckled by William Caulfield (Nurse Molly Coddle), then don’t sit in the front row.

Local lady Annemarie must have thought she was safe, sitting halfway up the stalls, until Nurse Molly stampeded up the aisles thrusting a microphone at the unsuspecting Annemarie, who unwittingly agreed to sing a solo at the end of the panto. (You’re lucky she didn’t go through your handbag).

It was a full house at Newmarket Street for the opening of the Millennium Forum’s panto season which runs until the end of December.

This year Snow White and the Seven Dwarves take centre stage, retelling the classic fairy tale in a way that only a Derry pantomime can.

The show has all the traditional hallmarks of the Snow White story – including the magic mirror, the jealous queen and poisoned apple, but expect a few extra twists along the way.

William Caufield returns once again reprising the role of Nurse Molly Coddle, and if anything he simply gets better every year. The frocks are more dramatic than ever, the wigs are fantastic, but Caufield’s natural interaction with the audience that has made him a Derry panto institution.

The stellar cast leads the audience through a thoroughly enjoyable show, packed full of seasonal silliness and just the right number of adult jokes that go completely over the kids heads.

Undoubtedly local actor Keith Lynch as court jester Muddles, steals the show with the children. He’s simply adorable as he continually mixes up his words and makes desperate attempts to sing a solo.

The children erupted when he made a dash into the audience to high five his adoring fans.

The seven dwarves comprise a group of actors, no strangers to the stage and screen, from across Ireland and the UK. Their names might be a little different from the original story – think Blusher, Grumbly and Sniffly, instead of Bashful, Grumpy and Sneezy, but their performance is none the less top-class, especially Chris Burke as Prof, whose comic performance had one gentleman falling off his seat in hysterics.

Karen Hawthorne, the most youthful wicked queen ever to grace the stage of the Forum, has a voice to die for, Rachael O’Connor was a fabulous Snow White and there were strong performances from Conor O’Kane and Andrew Porter as Prince Charming and Herman the Henchman respectively. This year’s show also starred the finest chorus of a Millennium Forum panto.

Packed with great song and dance routines, hilarious comedy, dazzling scenes and magical special effects, this festive favourite is fun for all the family from four to 94!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs performs at the Millennium Forum until December 29. Tickets are priced from £10 and available from the box office on 71264455 or visit www.millenniumforum.