Friday, March 1

The Snow Queen – Iris Theatre

One of the post popular festive tales, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, is brought into your homes from the Iris Theatre, in their first livestreamed production.

We are trying to get to the right destination to begin the story Holly wants to read to Pip. The audience are asked to find magic ingredients, and to help thaw a frozen book.

The story of the Snow Queen, left out in the cold by her sisters of the spring, summer and autumn, is well known. Stuck in her ice palace, her heart is frozen solid and closed to friendship or compassion.

This is a complex story but has been adapted well for pre-schoolers. Leda Douglas keeps the interest throughout as she infuses the young audience with her joyful enthusiasm. Participation is requested at every turn, from changing the weather to undergoing the perilous journey to help Gerda find Kay.

In the best tradition of children’s television, changes can be made through song – one is regularly reprised – and simple actions. There’s no need to join in if you’d rather not, but this is a definite advantage of live Zoom: the ability to turn even the youngest viewer into a performer.

The backgrounds are simple but varied, there are a couple of songs to set the scene, and the characters of the Snow Queen and excited listener Pip are partly computer-generated. This gives an otherworldly feel which suits the hour-long piece.

This version of The Snow Queen, directed by Iris artistic Natasha Rickman , is excellent for families to enjoy together, and each ticket comes with an activity pack to enjoy including a recipe, word games and things to make.

The Snow Queen streams until 26th December, at various times – book at (£20 per device).

Reviewer: Louise Penn

Reviewed: 20th December 2020

North West End UK Rating: ★★★