The Royal Hippodrome Theatre of Eastbourne celebrated its 140th birthday this year, making it the oldest theatre in the town. The theatre has become a formidable institute for the town and was home to the triumphant pantomime Snow White this festive season. 

The building itself is grand and imposing and upon arrival you could already feel the buzz of excitement from your fellow spectators. The most impressive part however, was the inside. All areas of the theatre were found to be decorated with glistening Christmas trees and lights, adding to the festive feeling. Staff were at every point, directing customers to their seats. The actual auditorium itself was small, with a capacity of 630, however, this worked in its favour, creating a cosy and almost exclusive atmosphere for the audience. As well as meaning there truly were no ‘bad’ seats. 

Voices hushed as the show began, and already you could tell that this was going to be very visually enjoyable. The seven dwarfs come onto the stage with masks resonant of the early days of Greek theatre and bright, colourful costumes. This trend of beautifully ornate costumes continues until the very end of the show, meticulously sparkly dresses for Snow White and absurdly lavish ones for the dame role of Nanny Ida Profen- it truly was a feast for the eyes. 

Yet, as the show progressed and the audience were introduced to more characters you could see that the show would be more than simply something visually stunning but also hilariously funny. Both witty and plain ridiculous, the humour that seeped through every line was designed for kids and adults alike. Paired with the incredible, West End-level voices of the cast which absolutely filled the auditorium, Snow White was panto done just right.

The songs, dances and impossible to conceal breaking of character from the cast, means you wanted to jump up on the stage and join in on the fun, or at the very least sing along. 

Like with any good pantomime, Snow White managed to mix elements of popular culture and hot topics with age-old traditions- making for a piece of theatre which defies generational boundaries and spreads the kind of infectious joy that means people cannot help but have a smile on their faces. It reminds audiences of the indescribable (though I have tried my best) delight of live theatre. 

However, the fun does not have to wait until next Christmas. The Royal Hippodrome will be holding an Easter pantomime of Goldilocks and the Three Bears from 28th of March to the 3rd of April next year. Tickets start at just £10 and it is guaranteed to be another night to remember.