Snow White review – fleet-footed family dance show corrals light and dark

Sadler’s Wells, London
Carol Ann Duffy’s clever return to the original fairytale says much about the distorting allure of youth and beauty

Grimms’ fairytales are full of bad parents – parents who are too greedy or feckless to look after their children, parents who are simply not there. But few are as monstrous as the Queen in Snow White, who develops such hatred for her only daughter that she plots her death.

Later versions of the tale cast the Queen as a stepmother – and a more acceptable version of wicked. But it’s the original version that Carol Ann Duffy and Liv Lorent use for their production, and they elaborate it into a cleverly nuanced story about the dangerous, distorting allure of youth and beauty. Their Queen is a doting mother whose love for Snow White only curdles into malevolence when her grownup daughter unwittingly starts to make her feel her age. It’s not pure wickedness that drives the Queen, but the terror of being old, ugly and alone.

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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