If you appreciate top quality English language theatre – and also live in Belgium – the next performance by the English Comedy Club theatre group (ECC) could be right up your street.
It is a production of Snow White, which, irrespective of where it is performed, remains one of the most loved pantomimes of all time.
As an added bonus, this year’s ECC production features plenty of firsts,including the largest cast and crew ever, with 70 people on and off stage.
It also features the youngest leading character in ECC panto history: the girl playing lovely Snow White may only be 14 but is perfect for the role. Also, there were so many excellent dwarfs auditioning, that it was decided to have two different sets of dwarfs for different performances.
This musical extravaganza, the biggest ECC panto production to date, makes for great family entertainment and it all takes place at Auderghem Cultural Centre in Brussels from 19-21 January. Tickets are selling fast for what is a very popular annual event so it is best to book in advance if possible.
The English Comedy Club is a well-established amateur society dedicated to performing English language theatre and, in an interview, Conrad Toft, from the ECC, outlined preparations for Snow White and some of the reasons for its perennial popularity.
He said, “We wanted to perform one of the most popular pantomimes and so it was an easy choice: Snow White. We also wanted to take the opportunity to use all of the talent we’ve been developing over the last three years. And indeed, we ended up with so many talented dwarfs who auditioned, that we now have two different sets of seven dwarfs for different performances because they were so talented and we really wanted to use them all.”
He said there will be no less than 70 people involved on stage.
The coolest thing about this show, he says, is the fact that “we’ve got so many people involved, also so many young people, really changes the nature of the show. We have lots of people involved in creating the script, involved on the directing side like stage directing, choreography, and we also have a dedicated musical director.”
He went on, “Another cool thing is that our leading character is the youngest in ECC panto history. When our Snow White auditioned, she was 13. I just had to take her on board because she was so perfect for the role. So now instead of celebrating Snow White’s 21st birthday on stage, we’ve changed it to her 18th birthday to make it more believable.”
Compared with previous years, there’s plenty of unusual aspects about this year’s show.
Conrad said, “There’s a lot more singing than in previous shows, and the dance routines are a lot more complex. A lot of the singing is done by the younger members of the cast both in the chorus and among the dwarfs.
Every year we build on what we did in the past. This is the fifth year of ECC pantos and every year there are a lot more people involved artistically than in previous years on the backstage side. I think that shows on stage.
“It’s amazing what a family has grown up around the ECC pantos. Some of the kids have been involved now for five years, and we’ve seen them grow up from the youngest members of chorus to having speaking roles, so that is really fantastic.
“What people see on stage is just the tip of the iceberg, and is the result of everything that’s going on off-stage, from parents’ chaperoning duty at rehearsals, to everyone helping put costumes and set together.”
Conrad adds, “And one thing everyone should definitely know is that the Swedish cook has built almost everything you see on stage!”
Good to know:
- Friday, 19 Jan 2018 (20:00)
- Saturday, 20 Jan 2018 (13.30 & 17:00)
- Sunday, 21 Jan 2018 (13.30 & 17:00)
Tickets are on sale at thelittleboxoffice.com/ecc