Theatre Review: The Snow Queen

The Rose Theatre production of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen, takes the audience on a magical journey away from the typical pantomime, and should be experienced by all, young and old.

Adapted from Andersen’s famous classic by Charles Way, the show is full of colour, chilling magic and fun. Certain subtle themes leap out as poignant in a world of recession, debt and collapse, yet it is highly enjoyable and full to the brim with Christmas spirit.

Directed by Natascha Metherell, this production has a great balance of humour as well as a more serious, moral side. Metherell’s direction gives an almost operatic elegance to the piece, though not to a degree which would alienate the theatre going crowd. 

The delightfully and increasingly evil Snow Queen is played by Sara Stewart who is poised, mesmerising and powerfully chilling in the title role.

The story revolves around a pair of friends who are separated by the Snow Queen’s evil:

Gerda is played by Bettrys Jones, who plucks the heart strings as the epitome of self sacrifice and a character who comes of age through the course of the action. Zac Fox’s performance as Cei demonstrates his range and strengths as an actor, and is amicable and entertaining.

The action involving the supporting roles is maginificently choreographed and executed to the letter, and performances by Sian Robins-Grace and Michael Matus are particularly noteworthy.

First time theatre designer Su Blackwell’s set is beautiful, simple, and evokes the move from stillness to life you would expect from the Snow Queen’s lair. The only fault would be that the positioning of the set, at points, made it difficult to see, but is forgivable because of her clear attention to detail.

This production is arguably slightly long for a family show, but this is recognised as the second act kicks off with a colour, spark and panache which plunges you straight back into the action.

This is a show all families should see this Christmas.

The Snow Queen is playing at the Rose Theatre from now until the 8th of January. Box Office 08444 821556.

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