Scrooge and The Seven Dwarves Review

Theatre503 23 November – 7 January.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Sleeping Trees patented brand of festive lunacy is back with another brilliantly bonkers mashup of panto favourites. Just as Santa is loading his sleigh, disaster strikes – the Wicked Witch steals all the Christmas Spirit, leaving Santa’s mum (much scarier) to save the day. She realises that a tiny bit of Christmas Spirit is hidden deep, deep, deep, deeeeeeeep down inside Ebenezer Scrooge, so hatches a plan to force him to rediscover his humanity and save the day.

Sleeping Trees – Joshua George Smith, John Woodburn and James Dunnell-Smith – have written a fast-paced and whip smart show that embraces every panto cliché, with the added drama of tensions in the company over potential casting for a Hollywood movie. Composer Ben Hales, accompanies the madness on a range of instruments with an endearing air of bewilderment and a range of ridiculous hats. The knowing humour whisks us through a cast of Fairy-tale characters including the seven dwarves (played by 2 actors – just wait for the handshake scene!), Snow White, the Wizard of Oz; and in Old Victorian London Town (which MUST be said in your best Christopher Guest accent) Bob Cratchett and his tiny son, and a maudlin Mary Poppins “I’m Supercalafragile…”.

Sleeping Trees are all fine physical comedians with amazing onstage chemistry, and seem to be having as much fun as the audience. There is a joyful and refreshingly filth free innocence to the whole show – it’s as if Miranda Hart and David Mitchell had triplets.

Forget those huge productions – a cast of 3 is all you need. Get down to Theatre503 and this perfectly formed panto will banish the winter blues and get the party season started. I dug out my Christmas jumper as soon as I got home. A true Christmas cracker.