by Andrea Gaini
6th December 2017, Pulse
Cardiff University’s drama society, Act One, has been building over the years a tradition of putting on a pantomime around Christmas time. This year’s panto is a snappy and quirky reinterpretation of Snow White’s fairy tale: Mirror, Mirror, for the second time in a row taking place in the magical venue which is Pulse.
Directed and written by Sophie Callery and Immy Skinner, the panto tells the story of the post-Evil Queen reign where Snow White has become the new dictator ruling over Fairy Land. From the very beginning, the show presents a well-structured, intriguing, and extremely comical plot. The depiction of the characters is very clear and successfully conveys different emotions simultaneously, making every bit of the show fulfilling and entertaining. Callery’s journalistic background might have also taken over some parts of the show which comes out to be unexpectedly political.
The level of the interpreters’ acting was incredibly satisfying. Phoebe Todd is the perfect Snow White – her strong presence, sharp sass, and great projection brought into every scene great energy and dynamicity, which sometimes lacked. Prince Gavin (Alec Cook) and the Ugly Sister (James Aitken) also put on an amazing performance strengthened in their ability to fully immerse themselves in the characters and maintain the part smoothly all throughout the show.
Choreography and staging-wise, the show looked fairly organised using the entire width of the small stage and the front part of the house to gain some space. Lighting and sound were also quite good especially their reactiveness to respond to technical adjustments often needed (such as the volume of mics and music).
However, for as big of a fan of Callery and Skinner one can be, there were some weaknesses in this production that need improvements.
Firstly, the writing choice of avoiding a lot of music in the first act needs to be compensated with great energy, dynamism, and enthusiasm by the actors. Secondly, the scene changes needed to be quicker and accompanied by some more transitional music, otherwise the general feeling of a sudden fall of emotions and positive mood risks to endanger the continuity of feelings of the show.
Mirror, Mirror is another great production the Act One society can be proud of having brought to the stage which reflects the love and dedication of the entire society to entertain and inspire the world.
The cast and crew of Mirror, Mirror will be in Pulse for another two nights: 7th and 8th of December 7.30 pm.