Writer and director Theresa Heskins can normally be relied upon to come up with a quality seasonal offering and she doesn’t disappoint with this year’s winter showpiece.
From The Snow Queen’s opening scene, in which excited youngsters skate across a frozen lake – brilliantly created by lighting effects beamed into the round – the tone is set for this timeless fairytale.
Delights include the snowflake costumes worn by the Snow Queen and her ice army and the use of ingenious props that conjure fluttering birds and pop-up picture books.
The original songs are sung by a cast that frequently switches to playing musical instruments, and there is simplicity in the use of falling snowflakes. The overall effect is quite wonderful and provides the perfect backdrop to the story of a search for lost love. Facing all manner of obstacles to track down her missing Kai (Luke Murphy), Gerda is delightfully played by Natasha Davidson.
Despite many high points, some of the dialogue is unclear and Heskins’ story-telling is at times confusing. And while Polly Lister is beautifully costumed in the title role, she is not quite the menacing presence that she might be.