Sunday, September 24

Frozen Jr – Z-Arts

Z-arts Renaker Theatre hosted Manchester Musical Youth’s (MMY) latest production of Frozen Jr, the show is unfortunately only running tonight and tomorrow evening with a matinee in the middle as it is a show not to be missed.

This Disney family favourite did not disappoint the audience, it is hard to believe that the cast only had four rehearsals following their weekend residential and junior festival earlier in the year to produce such a well-polished production.

This is MMY’s third show in a space of a month and the standard never ceases to amaze me, it is evident that the production is a team effort involving many family members supporting the process with their super talented youngsters.

The auditorium and front of house was a buzz of super proud relatives and friends rightfully so as they chat amongst themselves and beam with pride. The family atmosphere and companionship are a huge strength of this phenomenal theatre group, and I am seeing lots of familiar faces of ex members of MMY coming back to support their theatre family.

Director and Principles Dave and Kimberly Holden clearly have the strategies and effective methodology to the successful blueprint of a winning formula in creating such outstanding productions. However, the most endearing ingredient to this duo is the pride they have in their students and how they want the best for them and encourage each and every youngster to fulfil their potential!

So back to the show, huge credit to the Creative Team for delivering an exceptional space for the cast to work with, and for the magnificent props and puppetry created by Sarah Barron that provided the most spectacular visual delight of Olaf. Sarah Binns and Sarah Bartlett-Hunt’s choreography was simple but effective which enabled the story telling of ‘Frozen’ come to life through movement and dance.

The story of Frozen is that of true love between sisters and their emotional rollercoaster when faced with danger and duty. The casting of the infamous sisters Elsa (Ava Walsh) and Anna (Amelia Ruffley) was exemplary as the two leading ladies shone in their roles and delivered the most heart-warming performance with pitch perfect vocals. Young Anna (Lucy Brownsword) was exquisite in her rendition of ‘Do you want to build a Snowman’ and Young Elsa (Katie Hyde) matched her vocals perfectly. Both Middle Elsa (Adali Strayer) and Middle Anna (Joss Gavaghan) enhanced the transition with their voice quality and tonality.

Kristoff (Charles Lockett) and Sven (Maddie Whyte) delivered a sterling performance as the popular duo in the story of ‘Frozen’, and Oliver Horton who played Hans conveyed the fantabulous ‘baddy’ in this Frozen narrative. Billy Burrows was a delight to watch in his humorous conveyance of Oaken, and the standout performance of the evening was that of Olaf from Freddie Cummins. Cummins was not only magnificent in his recital of the character of Olaf but skilfully executed his puppetry skills throughout the show.

Another tremendous triumph for this remarkable theatre group, well done to all involved and gigantic credit to each and every member of the cast and production team for delivering such a splendid delivery of Frozen Jr.

Reviewer: Katie Leicester

Reviewed: 25th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.