The Snow Queen captivates Christmas at the New Vic TheatreAppetite Cultural Reporter Emma-Leigh Hayes reviews The Snow Queen at The New Vic Theatre!
Step aside Narnia, move along Frozen, there’s a new snow queen in town and she’s been around for a hundred years. The Snow Queen is the latest Christmas production to grace the stage at the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and is based on the famous Hans Christian Andersen poem ‘The Snow Queen’. A story of young Gerda looking for her wayward friend Kai, our heroine goes through different seasons, tasks and trials to find him.
Kai and Gerda eventually learn the secret words written in the ice and free the snow queen from her icy grave so that she can eventually live with her long-lost love as she was meant to be.
A big well done is in order to the cast and crew of this production, as it looked like it took a lot of time to perfect every dance move, icicle, and even the skating routines. The story was well written and easy to follow, so the little theatre-goers had no problem keeping up. The Snow Queen is a fantastic show to introduce your little elves to the world of theatre, and a dreamlike show at that.
Polly Lister, playing The Snow Queen herself, has an absolutely fantastic voice. She’s enchanting, and the notes she can reach are spectacular. Her voice left me wanting to hear more and to do exactly what Kai did and follow her to the icy castle she reigns over.
Alongside her, Polly had the amazing voices of Natasha Davidson as Gerda and Rachel Dawson as Robbergirl. Gerda and Robbergirl were almost opposites in personality, and the two actors played them off each other so well that it left me craving more interaction between them. I would have liked to see the Robbergirl come along with Gerda in her quest to find Kai!
Not forgetting the fantastic band, these actors swapped and switched out to play live music themselves alongside the play. There were drums, violins and chimes that they juggle in-between acting, singing and dancing! Oh, and sometimes skating.
For such a small stage the production really did utilise everything to their advantage. Pulling out extra stage pieces to make roof-tops and carriages, to bringing different sets onstage to create the perfect ambiance, the creative choices associated with the set were so good you couldn’t find fault in them.
The stage was put to incredible use, with icicles hanging from the ceiling, a hole in the centre stage where the snow queen met her death, and even fake snow falling onto the audience. Little things like this put the magic back into theatre, and make you feel that warm sensation of being part of a show as amazing as this one.
The Snow Queen is a magical experience that all children will enjoy, that will have them dancing their way home and put the spirit of Christmas into even the grinchiest of adults.
And of course, if there was any lesson we learned from this story, it’s this; Don’t play on the ice!
The Snow Queen will be at the New Vic Theatre until January 28, book your tickets online here or call the box office on 01782 717 962.
Images courtesy of Andrew Billington Photography.