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Review | The Snow Queen | Storyhouse Chester | 13/12/2022

I don’t think there could be a more fitting time to see ‘The Snow Queen’ than this bitterly cold December! This production of the Hans Christian Andersen classic has been staged by the Storyhouse in Chester, with direction from Hannah Noone. The Storyhouse has been transformed for this production with a redesigned stalls section leading directly to the circle; helping ensure every seat is a great one.

The show starts with an eery tune being played on violin, before the sequin caped Snow Queen took to the stage in style with disco dancers in shattered mirror suits and top hats. The 4-piece band were electric and themselves a real highlight, putting bands twice their size to shame. Stood on platforms at the back of the stage, they stay visible throughout and even change headwear to match the scene!

When we meet the four children, each dressed in a different vibrant colour, the show quickly gets going. From an energetic snow fight to a fun ‘chanting’ song, it is soon apparent that this icy show has warmth and heart. It was lovely to hear an array of different regional accents from the diverse cast. It was Chloe Wade (Elisa, Bindweed, Lily and Robber Girl) with her thick Yorkshire accent who brought the most joy and fun to the stage. This is however not to diminish the talents of all of the others who worked well together. When Cei (played by Taona Matope) is led astray by the Snow Queen, his facial expressions and wide-eyed gaze did more than any dialogue could have achieved.

This show is ultimately about friendship, with young Gerda travelling through the seasons to save her best friend Cei from The Snow Queen. Rosemarie Akwafo plays Gerda with determination and innocence and is a joy to watch.

We travel with Gerda through the various seasons in an attempt to get to the Snow Queen. Each season brings its own unique ambience and feeling. Moving through each season during the 2-hour show, the performance is perfectly paced to keep children and adults alike engaged throughout. Perhaps the most fun is Summer, where we meet self-assured confident ‘posh boys’ alongside girls who wouldn’t be misplaced on Love Island. These exaggerated characteristics are played on, to great comic effect. The song “I Just Wanna Dance” is a catchy earworm which also serves as the shows closing number.

With his uncertain face, it is a tap-dancing reindeer which surprisingly gets the biggest laugh of the night. However, this is far from the only funny part of The Snow Queen. Each season brings its own laugh out loud moments, from dance battles to talking flowers, the audience are kept

tickled from beginning to end.

Filled with charm, humour and warmth this show is a sure fire hit and is the perfect Christmas show for the whole family. This show would be ideal for the child who no longer has an interest in pantos and craves a more theatrical experience. What a great introduction to live theatre this would be! The Snow Queen plays at the Storyhouse in Chester until 15 January 2022. See below for booking details.

Photo credit: Mark McNulty

Gifted: I was gifted my ticket for this show. All views are own and 100% free from influence.


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