Snow White

Snow White

A lonely girl with an eye for adventure.
A jealous stepmother.
A magical mirror and a brass band of musical miners …

Join us this Christmas at the Civic, Barnsley 14th -24th Dec for a heart-warming, ingenious take on the classic fairy tale, Snow White. Set in our very own Yorkshire landscape this production weaves aerial feats, live music, comedy and compelling performances to give all the family a special treat this Christmas.

Can the miners break the magic mirror’s spell and set Snowy free or will her wicked stepmother steal the night?
All photos by Gavin Joynt.

Snow White was created as a co-production between Tell Tale Hearts and Pif-Paf in collaboration with the Lawrence Batley Theatre, The Civic, Barnsley and the National Union of Miners.

Funded by the Arts Council of England, National Lottery Programme.


Writers: Natasha Holmes & Eleanor Hooper
Director: Natasha Holmes
Designers and Makers: Eleanor Hooper and Peter Gunson
Compose:/Musical director: Jack Stoddart
Sound Design: Pete Storer
Lead Costume Design/Make: Jessica Bull
Assistant Costume Design/Make: Amy Turner
Lighting Design: Lars Jensen
Puppets : Eleanor Hooper
Mentor / Dramaturg: Mike Kenny
Stage Manager: Ali Murray
Assistant Stage Manager: Sophie Postelthwaite
Sound Operative: Elb Hall
Wardrobe Dresser: Yasmin Lad
Company Manager: Ammie Flexen
Press Relations: Duncan Clarke
Graphic Design: Spruce Creative
Technical Support: From The Lawrence Batley Theatre
Technical Manager: Rupert Horder


“a roam through the wild landscape of a child’s imagination”
Holmes’s production is really all about roaming through the wild landscape of a child’s imagination, and begins in spectacular style as a man in full pit gear is winched from the ceiling while playing a tuba. Pif-Paf’s contribution is as much a feat of engineering as entertainment, as the street theatre specialists pull a giant steel climbing frame into various permutations that allude to the pit heads of the region, and enables a thrilling ariel sequence as the Crocs rescue Snow White from the bottom of a shaft.
– Jack Stoddard’s music is a delightful mix of northern grit and Creole swing, and you can’t help but admire the skill set of the six-strong cast. Actor-musicians we are used to, actor-musician-acrobats are something else, and it certainly brings a whole new dimension to the meaning of Grimm up north.

The Stage
Are there any other Christmas shows created in collaboration with the National Union of Mineworkers? Or any dwarf-less Snow Whites set in a post-industrial Yorkshire landscape, where familiar Disneyfied imagery is supplanted by coalface grittiness and a troupe of full-height ex-miners in a brass band who embark on a quest to release the trumpet-playing heroine from imprisonment inside her jealous step-mum’s mirror?

More than simply twisting the familiar, this is Grimm’s folk tale reinvented.
‘refreshed and different as a back-story propelled by circus skills, aerial antics, spooky shadow play and charming songs.
A mobile scaffold contraption is an ingenious framing device for a production that digs deep into fairy tale mythology and makes telling points about caring and community.

The Yorkshire Post
This innovative reinvention of the classic Grimm brothers’ fairy tale is very much set in Yorkshire with the seven dwarves replaced by ex-miners in a brass band.

It really utilises all the effects of magic realism to become an immersive and intense experience and (no spoilers) but the fairy tale ending sees good overcoming evil, hope in the face of adversity and reveals the beauty of self-sacrifice and communal love. Eleanor Hopper as Mystique is suitably callous and mischievous while the supporting cast of miners are delightfully funny in this tour de force of a show. A supreme success that is set apart from the panto-tastic season, but still takes a sideways nod to the festivities, with a good Christmas message at its very heart.

North West End
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The tale of Snow White is one that has been imagined and reimagined so many times that it is hard to picture that there is any new way for it to be told, and yet I found myself on the edge of my seat as I was trying to anticipate the next plot twist.
Graceful and at times terrifying aerial acrobatics served as a beautiful means of telling a story and creating beautiful imagery as well as creating dynamic and inventive scene transitions.