Preston hits the heights of panto magic...

PANTOMIME: Kristina Castelina with the seven dwarfs Malcolm Dixon, Ben Wilcox, Luke Pendlebury, Glynn Jones, Ben Holmes, Mark Lisle and Melonie Dixon.
PANTOMIME: Kristina Castelina with the seven dwarfs Malcolm Dixon, Ben Wilcox, Luke Pendlebury, Glynn Jones, Ben Holmes, Mark Lisle and Melonie Dixon.
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Panto season has well and truly kicked off in Preston yet again – oh yes it has – and this year it certainly doesn’t come up short.

That eternal children’s classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, has been given the pantomime treatment at the Charter Theatre – with more than a little help from comic star Jimmy Cricket.

Preston panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre.  Pete Lindup as Sarah the Cook and Jimmy Cricket as Muddles.

Preston panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Charter Theatre. Pete Lindup as Sarah the Cook and Jimmy Cricket as Muddles.

And the packed auditorium lapped it up. The story itself follows the plot of the cartoon quite closely – but as usual it is in the small side plots and stage antics where this production, written and directed by veteran Lancashire impresario Duggie Chapman, really shines.

The audience, some dressed up as the eponymous heroine, were spoiled with a strong cast, particularly Jim Whelan as the Henchman and panto veteran Pete Lindup as Sarah the Cook as well as by the one liners, slap-stick, dozens of dance routines and fabulous sets.

Praise too must go to the costume designers and makers. Cricket himself seemed more at ease when being himself and talking to the audience, earning himself new young fans.

Kristina Castellina performed and sang well as Snow White and Yvonne Patterson as Queen Cruella was also a hit.

You should recognise a few of the Magnificent Seven themselves from their impressive CV of TV and film appearances

You can (and should) catch Snow White up to January 3. Tickets are available from box office on 0844 844 7714 or online at www.prestonguildhall.com at various prices.

James Reader