Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

A Perfect Way To Get in The Christmas Spirit”.

The Snow Queen

Hijinx Odyssey Theatre , The Weston Studio – Wales Millennium Centre , December-01-16
The Snow Queen by Hijinx  Odyssey Theatre So, what gets you in the Christmas spirit? Is it cards appearing the shops in August, the freezing temperatures, the John Lewis advert, the sighting of the Coca Cola lorry and the arrival of the tree at Cardiff Castle? No, me neither. For me it only starts in December and generally coincides with the arrival of Hijinx Odyssey's winter offering. What a lucky reviewer I am then when they both arrive on the same day.

This year they have chosen the Hans Christian Andersen tale “ The Snow Queen”. As usual I was well aware of the title without actually knowing the story which suits me as I like going to the theatre without knowing what is going to happen. As we entered the auditorium we had our 1st sight of Kai who will be the hero of tonight's tale. He and his friend ( not girlfriend) Gerda are intrigued by the unexpected appearance of a circus in town. Kia is then lured to the circus by a personal invitation but discovers it is not the fun place he was expecting. All the acts seem despondent, recalling happier days before the arrival of "The Snow Queen". Eventually their paths cross but to find out what happens you need to see the show.

It is a great plot but what brings it to life are the performances. Everyone on stage is clearly having a great time and this joy transfers itself to the audience. It helps that Sean Williams and Sara Pickard in the main roles were both excellent but all the cast played their part well. Even though the Weston Studio is a small space Hijinx Odyssey's always create good sets and costumes ( credit to Kitty Callister). Equally impressive is James Clarke's music with writer Llinos Mai and director Jon Dafydd-Kidd ensuring the multiple scenes were slickly introduced and that the pace never drops.

So, "The Snow Queen" proved to be the joyous experience I hoped for and expected. I left the Millennium Centre in thick fog but this only made the collection of lit Christmas trees outside the venue seem even more magical. Yes, it was at kind of night.

Christmas here we come.

Photo by Jonathan Dunn

Reviewed by: David Cox

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