Arts Review: The Snaw Queen

Dir. Johnny McKnight, Tron Theatre, 29th November – 7th January

The Snaw Queen is an example of pantomime at its finest; camp, glittery, rude, unafraid to be political combined with lots of audience participation.

The two drag queens in the show complemented each other exquisitely well. Johnny McKnight, writer, director and actor of this year’s panto at the Tron, was fantastic as Kristine Cagey Kringle, the lady Santa with outfits ranging from a babydoll-style Santa dress to her incarnation as a sparkly red Christmas turkey. Meanwhile, the Snaw Queen (Darren Brownlie) dazzled in a flesh-coloured bodysuit encrusted with diamonds, fully embodying an evil blonde bombshell.

The other cast members are not to be forgotten though. Especially Louise McCarthy, who gave a hilarious performance as a decrepit, witchy old woman. From her first appearance on stage – grey hair, cardigan and swinging tits underneath her dress included – she stole the show with her physical comedy. Her death scene was one of the highlights of the night.

While almost all of the sets were psychedelically covered in red glitter, the one that stood out was that of Glasgow’s orange pride: the subway. A subway carriage was ingeniously recreated onstage with the subway map above it, the stops flashing in time to the music. The cast portrayed gentile West End folk in highly stylised, aristocratic outfits, looking down on the characters of Olive the Reindeer (Julie Wilson) and Kristine for being commoners. It was the perfect background for the battle of the drag queens, with Lady Santa Kristine up against the evil Snaw Queen. They faced off to a disco tune and fought each other with dance and glitter – a ‘Disco Dolly Smackdown’ at its finest.

Like any good pantomime, the Snaw Queen was rich with audience participation. Lady Kristine was liberal with the men in the audience and the cast were great at making the children feel included, from using the classic “she’s behind you” to throwing them sweets as a moral lesson on the importance of sharing. A particularly heart-warming moment occurred when a child from the audience sang the first few lines of “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer” to transform the evil queen back into Rudolph. All in all, the production was a lot of fun and definitely succeeded in spreading the Christmas mood.

Credit – John Johnston


[Rose Jackson – @klimtkisses]

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