Theatre review - Snow White by Filskit in association with Quirkas

Snow White, New Diorama Theatre, London. Sunday 19th June 4pm (1 hour)

Filskit theatre company devised a new version of Snow White, designed to appeal to adults and children alike. I attended the show at the New Diorama Theatre on Father’s Day which had a full family audience, who had prevailed despite some underground line closures and threatened tube strike.

Filskit, who comprise of Katy Costigan, Victoria Dyson and Sarah Gee specialise in using projection in theatre. The story comes alive through the use of pocket projection, film and puppetry.

A white umbrella is inventively used in multiple ways, as a projection surface, for shadow puppetry, to contain a forest, as a bucket, a bicycle, a coffin and as an extension of Snow White’s body, her umbrella breathes and sniffs.

Flute music by Melanie Borsack sets the fairytale mood as the two narrators, Katy Costigan and Victoria Dyson dressed as young men in white shirts, grey waistcoats and beige trousers introduce the audience to the story of Snow White and her wicked mother, the Queen. The children in the audience are enthralled by the narrators graphic description of the evil Queen, the beautiful princess and the magic mirror – which is projected by Alex Curry.

Snow White is first seen as a silhouette through her white umbrella, and as a shadow puppet she eats, drinks and picks her nose then humorously creates her own puppet out of a sock. Snow White, played by Sarah Gee is like an innocent but naughty child, interested both in the world around her and her own mucus.

The narrators progress from telling the story to being in it, as they are ordered by the Queen via her magic mirror to kill Snow White. There follows a scary and captivating romp through a forest and a park as the Queen tries to destroy her rival.

Kay Costigan and Victoria Dyson are engaging and versatile narrators, strong in voice and physically, they jump, leap, sing and amuse with their facial expressions. They would be good in Horrible Histories. Victoria Dyson’s narrator is sweet and funny and reminds me of Sheridan Smith.

Only the Queen’s evil fingers are seen and Snow White never speaks except for one line, ‘Me? Oh!’ as she is handed a letter. Words are projected onto her umbrella, arm and body.

The story moves from stage to screen at an exciting pace through Kerry Irvine’s direction, the children in the audience interacting with the world in front of them, waving at Snow White, reading the messages from the Queen and gazing longingly at sweets dropped by the narrators. I’m sure if Filskit ever needs 7 dwarves for their production, the kids watching would happily volunteer.

Snow White is a novel version of the well-known fairytale, with elements of Hansel and Gretel. Is there a happy ending? You’ll need to watch it to find out.

Cast credits
Narrators: Katy Costigan and Victoria Dyson. Snow White: Sarah Gee.

Company credits
Snow White devised, written and performed by the Filskit Theatre company.
Projection: Designed by Filskit. Operated by Alex Curry.
Music: Composed and performed by Melanie Borsack
Technician: Kristen Gilmore
Directed by Kerry Irvine.
Produced in association with Quirkas Productions - Skye Crawford, Kerry Irvine, Kristina Mrkich, Marilyn Rice and Siva Zagel.

Educational workshops – Filskit offer dynamic and practical workshops for key stage two classes. Contact for workshop enquiries and prices.

Future dates for Snow White – as part of the Camden Fringe at The Shaw Theatre 20-26th August 2011.

© Wendy Thomson 2011

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