The auditorium is drenched in purple light. The packed audience is a sea of blue satin dresses. Lights go up on a glittering silver palace.
Welcome to the world of Frozen. Cannily clicking into the recent movie release, this pacy, undemanding show makes no attempt to replicate the Disney phenomenon while giving young enthusiasts enough familiar references to keep them happy.
At the centre of proceedings are sisters Emily and Anna Snow (Catriona McFeely and Eimear Barr). They are as close as can be until a massive storm shatters a mirror, lodging a shard in Emily’s heart. She promptly transforms into an evil Frozen Princess, intent on destroying Anna’s forthcoming marriage to Gavin Peden’s overgrown schoolboy Prince Freddie Foundered (‘foundered’ means very cold in the Ulster vernacular).
Three top-class character actors – Marty Maguire as Nanny Amanda Marry-Weather, Jo Donnelly as sweet snowman Mr Frostie and Nicky Harley as gruff Fairy Sunshine – work their socks off on the broad humour in a rather thin script.
The momentum speeds along via frantic chases through the stalls and Katie Richardson’s terrific pop-inspired score, which really gets the audience jumping, before the obligatory happy ending leaves them smiling.