‘The Snow Queen’ review
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The Hans Christian Andersen classic get a slick and enjoyable outing as this year’s Rose Theatre Christmas show
Eight years ago, while the Rose Kingston was still struggling to establish its Christmas shows, its adaptation of ‘The Snow Queen’ was a real low: two hours of your life that you could never get back. The very thought of trying it again must have sent a shiver down the spines of all those associated with the theatre, as well as the ticket-buying public (particularly those with a long-enough memory). But here, nearly a decade later, is a great new version from Ciaran McConville. This is a slick and expeditious production against a brilliant, yet simple, set design that is easily and quickly transformed from town to pirate ship to forest to ice castle and so on.
In a tale that comes with a few scary moments that might be too much for the very young, Gerda shows her friend Kai a bit of magic that attracts the attention of the wicked Snow Queen, who has been looking for the young girl for some time. To lure her into the open, the Queen takes Kai to the far north as bait, and Gerda does not disappoint.
Along the way to the final showdown there’s laughs, songs, dances, a life-size puppet reindeer who nearly steals the show, and Father Christmas. As usual, this is Rose Youth Theatre’s annual showpiece – I’ve never seen them in better form. There have been some bumps along the way, but the last three or four years have proved that McConville and his team have cracked the Rose Christmas show, and this one should get local families inking the date on their calendars for years to come.
An earlier version of this review said the previous Rose Theatre Kingston production of ‘The Snow Queen’ was directed by Ciaran McConville. This was not the case.