Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

MIRROR, mirror on the wall – which theatre has a family pantomime with it all?

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs comes to the Old Mill Theatre this November and December, providing a cavalcade of songs, visual comedy, slapstick and audience participation.

Directed by Neroli Burton, Limelight Scripts has provided a fresh take on an old favourite – Snow White is still the fairest of them all and her wicked stepmother still uses a poisoned apple on her.

But when she seeks refuge with the seven dwarfs, they're a little different and go by the names of Prof, Drippy, Dozy, Beaky, Merry, Titch and Bigmouth.

“The story itself is very similar in that is has the seven dwarfs – even though their names are different – as well as Snow White, the prince and the wicked queen,” Burton said. “As with all pantomimes, we can take liberties with the characters and storyline. 

“Traditionally, the prince is played by a female and the dame, which is the female comedy lead, is normally played by a man.

“Without giving too much away, our show follows the original story of the beautiful Princess Snow White dealing with her jealous stepmother. 

“She ends up in the forest befriended by the seven dwarfs who take her into their home to keep her safe. 

“The queen puts on a disguise, finds Snow White and gives her a poisoned apple – but thank goodness there’s also a handsome prince who arrives just in time to save her.”

First stepping up to the stage as a 12-year-old with the Playhouse Junior Repertory, Burton spent 10 years with Patch Theatre and won the Ida Beeby Memorial Trophy for best student member in 1965.

She’s won plenty of awards over the years with Melville and Marloo Theatres for best actress, production, director, set and costumes for shows including Hello From Bertha, The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific, Oliver and The Darling Buds of May.

Burton has also directed My Fair Lady and The King and I at the Regal Theatre, as well as working with the Old Mill Theatre, Rockingham Entertainers and Omnibus and On Stage Productions.

“I was invited by the Old Mill Theatre to direct its final season for 2013 and, as I have always the loved pantomime genre, we felt Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs would be an appropriate show to present,” she said.

“The main challenge is making sure we can bring some magic to the stage for the children who come to the show.

“Whether you’re a little one or big one and haven’t been to a pantomime before we can guarantee a fun-filled night for all.”

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs plays at 7.30pm, November 29, 30, December 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14 with 2pm matinees November 30, December 1, 7 and 8.

Tickets are $30, $25 concession, $20 children (aged up to 10) and $90 for a family (2 adults + 2 children). Book at or on (08) 9367 8719.

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).



snow white1: Arianne Westcott-King plays the title role of Snow White.

snow white-dwarfs: Snow White (Arianne Westcott-King, centre) with some of her dwarfs: Dozy (Atira Shack), Merry (Hannah Harrison), Beaky (Kate Sisley), Drippy (Harrison Wake), Titch (Tahlia Menner) and Bigmouth (Oliver Broun).

snow white-prince: Prince Valentine (Sarah Christiner) proposes to Snow White (Arianne Westcott-King).

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Old Mill Theatre

South Perth's Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to be operating out of one of the most historic buildings in South Perth. It was opened in 1899 as a Mechanics' Institute Hall. The South Perth Council purchased the building in 1913 and renamed it the Mends Street Hall. The council still owns the building, and supports our use of it.

The building first became a home of theatre in 1948, when the South Perth Dramatic Society moved in. The name Old Mill Theatre was first used in 1958, and the company was incorporated in 1959. In 2009, the theatre celebrated its 60th anniversary.

A number of significant changes to the building have occurred over the past few years, with major extensions completed in 2002. An understage tunnel, which links two backstage dressing rooms and enables easier access from one side of the stage to the other, was completed in 2008. Bathroom facilities have also been installed backstage as part of this project, which was wholly self-funded.

The Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to have strong support from its local council, the City of South Perth. The city undertook major renovations to the exterior of the building in 2008 and the theatre is looking better now than ever before.

Neroli Burton
P: 0415 729 851


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