The Snow Queen
Adapted by Vivienne Franzmann
Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic is presenting a modern retelling of the family classic The Snow Queen as their festive treat. Best friends Gerda and Kai are inseparable; their world is turned upside down as the legend of the Snow Queen becomes reality. When Kai is stolen, Gerda sets off on a voyage of discovery, danger and mystery to ensure the safe return of her friend.
In this new production directed by Lee Lyford, Gerda remains a strong forthright protagonist. Kai is a young boy who wants to dance and whose father wants him to play football. The play tries hard to support the notion of acceptance and equality; how everyone should be respected and loved.
It has moments of being a visual feast; the Snow Queen herself is a towering figure which dominates the cold white world beautifully constructed with other puppets by Marc Parrett. The worlds Gerda visits are vibrant and dark in equal measure. Too much of the show relies heavily on the use of projection and technical prowess which unfortunately overshadows the story telling which should be at the centre of the piece. There are times when the story is too muddled and the plot of the animal revolution is never concluded.
The cast work hard, charged with energy and commitment the multi role playing is successful. Dylan Wood in his various guises is excellent as Anton the Reindeer and also the rather useless Goblin Apprentice whilst Joanna Holden as Boffin Goblin is a delight.
No doubt this will engage many families over the festive period and if the response from the full house last night is a gauge then this will prove to be a firm favourite.
Photo by Mark Douet