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Review: Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon, Salisbury Playhouse

The classic Snow White tale has had a glamorous revamp – the dwarves and wicked stepmother are gone and in their place, an ultra-sassy aunty and seven hilarious furry friends. We donned our glad rags and caught opening night

Having not been a child for about 20 years, and not having in child in tow, I wasn’t overly thrilled at the prospect of attending a Christmas show aimed at children.  But five minutes into Snow and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon, there was a giant grin on my face – even if it was hidden behind my mask. 

Snow and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon is a sparkly pink romp of a show, with bundles of energy, catchy songs and a beautiful set to boot. It follows the story of Princess Snow, who after the sudden death of her father, goes to live with her aunty Trish, who runs a beauty salon and has a pinch of Stacey Solomon about her (think speeches peppered with ‘babes’ and a loud, extravagant voice).

Snow is put to work in the salon, but in a tale as old as time, her aunt becomes jealous of Snow’s beauty and banishes her to the forest, where she makes some (rather unexpected) new friends. 

All of the actors play multiple parts with aplomb (except Snow, who is basically in every scene and would struggle!), stepping on stage in various guises, from a gorgeous, singing magic mirror, to a raft of fairytale characters (Little Red Riding Hood and a terrified Little Pig both make an appearance). For me, the star of the show was Greg Barnett, and not just because he was a delight when I interviewed him. He was laugh-out-loud funny as a stressed-out king, enigmatic as the misunderstood Big Bad Wolf and side-splitting as one of the moles.

Ah yes, the moles. Rather than making friends with seven dwarves, Snow shacks up with seven moles, all with their own hilarious personalities, with each cast member playing two. I loved this twist on the tale and found myself chuckling away, maybe even more than the little ones surrounding me!

Villain-wise, aunty Trish fits the bill perfectly, but being swathed in pink and sparkle, she won’t be too scary for ultra-young audiences, which is a tick in my book! 

The first half of the show is an explosion of pink fairytale meets Grease-style energy – all singing, all dancing, but it was the second half where it came into its own, delighting myself (in my thirties) and the many younger audience members in the theatre, who were giggling themselves silly. 

There were a few opportunities for audience participation, if you’re looking for a pants-style show, but in all, Snow and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon is a more sophisticated affair, with slick, stellar performances rather than slapstick mishaps. 

The show concludes with a rousing medley of pop songs, including my personal favourite, Shake it Off, by Taylor Swift, which got everyone clapping along merrily. 

Good for: Families of all ages looking for something different than your run of the mill pantomime

Not for: People looking to shout ‘oh no he didn’t!!’ in every scene.

Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon runs at the Salisbury Playhouse from December 3 to 31. Find out more here

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