If hearing the words “Snow White” makes you think of panto or the Disney film, then you’re in for quite a surprise with this version from balletLORENT, which has been written by Carol Ann Duffy and is narrated by Lindsay Duncan.
This is a much darker “Snow White”, which stays closer to the original tale by the Brothers Grimm than most re-tellings, but has a moral which is still very relevant today.
While all of the dancers are excellent, Natalie Trewinnard as Snow White and Caroline Reece as her mother, The Queen, are outstanding. You can really feel the emotions as they play out the changing relationship between a woman and her daughter who start out both enjoying beautiful things and constantly admiring each other (and themselves), and the changes as the Queen starts to mourn her fading beauty and become jealous of her daughter who is becoming more beautiful as the years go by. Matters come to a head when the Queen falls in love with a King from a neighbouring area, but he only has eyes for the young and beautiful Snow White…
A fairly simple but very flexible and cleverly used set by Phil Eddolls, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, costumes by Libby Everall and music by Murray Gold all combine with the dance and narration to make this a show which appeals to all ages whilst being very accessible as an introduction to ballet for young people. I particularly enjoyed the music, which ranged from hauntingly beautiful to menacing, and complemented the dance perfectly.
The Queen’s mirror is also of course a rather special mirror and this one has some wonderful “bitchy” observational comments to make back to its questioning mistress.
A special mention has to be given to the 12 children in the Edinburgh cast, who are all pupils at the local Preston Street Primary School and who were especially delightful as the animals of the forest.
Review by Lisa Sibbald