An odyssey through a frozen wonderland…
The Snow Queen brings her icy magic to Chipstead, just in time to banish the post-holiday blues.
The Snow Queen and her evil ice-chips lead 14-year old Gerda (Alice Grant) on an epic quest to rescue her half-brother Kay (Louis Higham) who has hitched his sledge to that belonging to the Snow Queen and disappeared. Gerda sets out to rescue him and along the way meets princes, princesses, a helpful pair of ravens, robbers, the world’s oldest Eskimo, icemen and a stoic reindeer.
This is a captivating production about the power of friendship and with enough elements of seasonal pantomime to keep its audience happy.
The play opens without a swish of the curtain. Instead, an avuncular Hans Christian Anderson (Phil Brooks) is standing right of stage with a scroll in his hand. He moves centre-stage to begin his story and naturally the audience is encouraged to participate with boos and hisses greeting the traditional baddies.
There is plenty of music and dance woven in, which give this somewhat dark tale a more playful tone. Kudos to Martha Odhuba as Haikki the robber, who delivers a fine solo in her first production for the players.
This is a wonderful ensemble production and the younger cast members threaten to steal the show; highlights are Lana Bishop and Mila James, who are wonderfully solemn castle-guards and an innocent and courageous Gerda (Alice Grant), who is utterly believable in her certainty she can rescue Kay.
But this all about the Snow Queen and Lucy Norris is proud, haughty and frostily malevolent. Her scenes with her ridiculous henchman Igor (Paul Falconer) provide much of the comedy. The hilarious cocktail shaking scene almost raise the courtyard roof.
Sharon Laws and Rick Thompsett ‘s adept direction transports us from Gerda’s home to the frozen north using stark, simple staging and lighting. It is a stripped back production and all the better for it. The cast are sufficiently talented to carry the story.
The Snow Queen is a light-hearted, fun escape from the January blues. There are still a few tickets available for this Thursday’s (19th) production.
The Snow Queen, Courtyard Theatre Chipstead.
Wednesday 18th January – Saturday 21st. For Box Office click here.