The Snow Queen: A Frozen Fairytale
30th Nov 2019 – 1st Jan 2020
A Shiny and Sparkly Winter Wonderland!
Now in its 10th year, Hertford Theatre’s 2019 Christmas show didn’t disappoint. Rhys Thomas and his team have proven yet again that they’re experts at creating original, family-friendly theatre. The Snow Queen is a festive treat with friendship at its heart.
Impressively, this is a show where everything is created in-house, including the script itself. The production design, from the set to the lighting, costumes, foyer decorations and magnificent Christmas tree, all bring the world of a frosty fairytale to life from the moment you arrive.
The show has everything you want from a family Christmas treat. There are catchy songs (and great vocals!), brilliant acting and of course, panto-style audience participation. The professional cast and production values really make this a show with a difference. It’s a joy to lose yourself in this magical wonderland for a couple of hours.
Chris Draper’s Maximilian Magpie is by our sides from the beginning, introducing the show, keeping us on track, and guiding the characters. It’s no easy task to hold a fast-paced show like this together, and he did it magnificently. And while we’re on the subject of magpies, the Mini-Pies were absolutely amazing – our local dance schools should be proud!
We join Gerda (Lauren Jacobs) and Kay (Josh Dorn) as they start out on their frosty adventure, encountering all sorts of characters and each facing their own challenges along the way. The pair have really perfected their childlike enthusiasm, capturing the ups and downs of childhood friendships beautifully. My only slight complaint would be that a few of their less upbeat songs perhaps lasted a little too long for the younger members of the audience (the proof is in the fidget!).
Katherine Victoria and Elliot Moore deserve medals for the sheer number of roles they took on (and absolutely nailed)! The versatility of their performances, accents, impressively speedy costume changes, and wigs (Jack Frost has amazing hair) really made the show, helping it to keep a staggering pace. With a whole array of familiar faces from children’s stories popping up along the way, there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained and engaged.
The Snow Queen herself (Anya Hamilton) brings a brilliant balance of sweet-but-sinister to the role and has an absolutely stunning number just before the finale. Aside from her gorgeous cloak, I did feel like the dress she wore up until the final few scenes didn’t quite do such a regal queen justice, though. More sparkle, please!
More than all the sparkle and show-stoppers, though, there were plenty of life lessons along the way, and that’s what I love about these shows. They have real heart. We learn that it’s important to work out what really makes you happy (spoiler: a talking teapot might not be enough), and to embrace the fact that it’s perfectly OK for a boy to love “dressing up and wearing sparkly shoes”. And of course, there’s the central theme of friendship, bravery and determination. Thank you, Gerda, for teaching us to never give up…
Reviewer: Megan Douglas
The Snow Queen is playing at Hertford Theatre until 1 January 2020. Great for families with kids over three (it’s a bit long for the younger ones), or if you’re a festive fan like me, don’t worry about having to take the kids – go with your friends!