By J. Raven Yep
If you are looking for the best play in the land, Wild Rice’s Snow White definitely comes within the top contenders. ArtZine tells you why.
Upholding Wild Rice’s tradition of holiday pantomimes and fairytales, here’s a light-hearted, satirical, entertaining piece fit for all ages, whether you are 8 or 38 years old.
Set in the Eternal Kingdom, The Queen, played by our very own Broadway Beng, Sebastian Tan, holds the annual beauty pageant, where the Queen crowns herself the winner repeatedly, year after year. In the kingdom, every person undergoes “Enhancement”, a process correcting any form of “physical faults” which they are unhappy with, upon turning 18.
As the story goes, the Queen’s beautiful stepdaughter, Snow White (Elena Wang) grows to be far more beautiful than the Queen (Sebastian Tan), as announced by the Mirror (Celina Rosa Tan). Dwayne Tan plays the dreamy Prince Charming, a prince from a faraway kingdom, arriving in the Eternal Kingdom and falling in love with Snow White.
Snow White & The Seven Dwarves is set within a modern context, portraying a satire of today’s society and current events in a humourous, witty manner. The Seven Dwarves were known to be the “failures of the Enhancement process”. Compared to the usual emotionally tagged dwarves (Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy etc…) we are all used to, names like Hidey (short for “hideous”), Lispy (someone speaking with a lisp) and Bui bui (a chubby person) come into play.
The play not only presents an entertaining piece for all to see, but also educates on the superficial society and the importance of not judging a book by its cover, through Snow White’s constant rejection and hesitance to her “Enhancement” process and the constant reminder of how superficial we can be through the evil Queen, who claims in song, “I rather be the Queen of Diamonds than the Queen of Peoples’ Hearts.”
Of course, coupled with snippets of current affairs weaved cleverly and humourously into the script, it is difficult to keep a straight face long enough in this piece. Sebastian Tan’s convincing portrayal of the evil, dominant Queen is paired well with the sarcastic Mirror. Not to mention the hip Seven Dwarves, whose breakdancing was well-choreographed and coordinated.
You’ll never be bored as it is highly interactive. The cast confidently remains in character while encouraging audience anticipation. That aside, the mobile set moves along smoothly, adjusting quickly to changing scenes, as the music does.
Snow White is too good to miss this December!
Read our interview with Sebastian, Elena and Dwayne here.
Images courtesy of Wild Rice.
Snow White by Wild Rice
Drama Centre Theatre @ National Library Building
26 November – 20 December 2008
Tickets : Available through SISTIC
Prices : $34 – $54 (7.30pm Tues, Wed, Thurs & Sun)
$39 – $59 (7.30pm Fri & Sat) (2.30pm Sat & Sun)
Watched the show? Share your views with us!
Here’s what others have to say:
- “This pantomime definetely had the most original twist i’ve seen so far. Utterly entertaining for the whole family with it’s cleverly masked innuendos. Audience participation was greately encouraged with children helping Prince Charming & Snow White along the way.As usual the folks at WIld Rice put together a script that lets us laugh at ourselves, basing the well oiled structure of the kingdom on that of our own country. The songs? As good as or even better then Avenue Q.” – Hope
- “Snow White didn’t disappoint, despite a couple glitches here and there (it was expected from nervous actors and it was the opening show).The cast was stellar. Excellent vocals from Elena Wang (Snow White), Celine Rosa Tan (Magic Mirror) and Sebastian Tan (Queen). Elena Wang is definitely someone to take note of in the future, quite a charmer. Dwayne Tan, lacking in vocal strength, made up by engaging with the audience and his consistency. The ensemble was great too, ampflying the overall performance a notch. Some of the kid actors were cute, but I’m not the biggest fan of how kids sometimes look like they’ve no idea what they’re doing on stage.In terms of dance and movement, however, not all characters managed to put it off fully.On the whole, it was distinct who were the weaker dancers or singers (there were more of the latter).Nevertheless, unexpected situations were smoothly handled. Celine Rosa Tan and Sebastian Tan reacted to a very comedic accident well. The entire audience was taken aback, yet pleasantly surprised. Poor Sebastian Tan was hit with the most situations, albeit unavoidable. He still managed to brush them off and successfully connected with the audience through plain silly shameless humour.Alfian Sa’at has done quite a good job for his first pantomime, though there’s not much characterisation on the overall. More time could’ve been spent on developing characters, which could help the audience connect to the play better.A good dose of humour and pleasantries, but the plot seemed a bit rushed in Act Two because there were too many events on the timeline. Justice was definitely done to the fairy tale, with a satisfying, feel-good conclusion.” – Chan XY
- “Dwayne opened the scene by appearing off stage looking lost and searching for his princess. Elena looked very sweet in her outfit. I especially like the rap by the 7 dwarfs! I’m surprised by the interaction between the cast and the audience especially when the kids exclaimed “Don’t eat that apple!”. And yes, who can forget Sebastian Tan as the evil Queen… she… looked fabulous in her royal robes.” – Webb
- “it was hilarious. I must say that it is one of their most daring portrayal with blatant references to the political scene throughout the show. E.g. the voting results, the unending reign of a certain important person, the environment, etc. Other funny things included the milk scandal & corny actions (with sound effects) and lots of “drag”. There were some references to certain Disney movies, like the Enchanted where Snow White came out to start singing and the animals started appearing. Then there were the dancing animals. They even had some Wall-E aspect in it like having all the rubbish cubed.
The songs & singing were quite good, especially Sebastian Tan (the Queen) & Elena Wang (Snow White) and there were interactive parts like the characters asking the audience questions.” – Ilsa