Not that I’ve got anything against pantos (it’s behind me now), but Creation seem to always come up with something fresh and interesting as an alternative. This one, The Snow Queen, is a musical comedy with serious bits, and the music is outstandingly good. Some of the music is familiar, like Fleetwood Mac’s for instance, but it’s the original work by composer and Musical Director, Gareth Jones, that really captures the emotions in the show.The choreography and the sets are splendid, and the script, by the ever-reliable Gari Jones, is inventive and interesting.
So what’s it about? It’s a loose adaptation of the eponymous tale by Hans Christian Anderson, wherein the Snow Queen sneaks in at night to capture our hero Kai, changing his previously positive outlook on life to one of pessimism, seeing the evil in everything. She spirits him away to the Ice Kingdom (Frozen, anyone?), where he lives in forgetfulness and confusion. Back at home, his beautiful friend, Gerda, misses him lots and so goes on a quest to find him. She has many adventures en route, meeting all sorts of characters and anthropomorphic creatures. I was particularly impressed by the crows and the Wizard, but all of the encounters are ingenious and the writing shines. Inevitably, it’s an existential piece about good and evil, (but it’s still all okay anyway).
There are five principals: James Burton, brilliant as the Wizard and the Prince (I’m still not fully over his Tinker Bell in Peter Pan); the new-to-Creation Veronica Beatrice Lewis, who, with her stunning singing and impersonations, is versatile as a pigeon, a hedgehog, and a Grandma; Natasha Rickman wows as the Snow Queen herself, with a tiara to die for, as well as being a cheerfully amusing crow; and finally, the friends Kai (Bart Lambert) and Gerda (Anabelle Terry), who together very ably carry the story and keep up the pace. They have the most memorable (and memeable) duet in their “Pieces”. Kai is the other crow, too. All five sing and dance well, and keep the audience engaged, especially and literally at the dénouement.
A quick word about the Youth Chorus, six youngsters who were particularly good this year on my night (there are three teams of six who take turns). They were all strong performers, and real talents for the future.
I can’t find much at all to criticise, apart from that the little puppet figures should be larger, please! In any case, my companion and I enjoyed the performance of The Snow Queen, and that mulled wine in the interval, and have no hesitation in recommending it to you all.