Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews


The Snow Queen

Sherman Theatre Company , Sherman Theatre , December-04-19
The Snow Queen by Sherman Theatre Company It was clear that we were in for a night of pure magic right from the start as the snowflakes fell, twinkling from the sky. This adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s well-known tale by Conor Mitchell, totally enchanted its young audience as the story unfolded in front of them. He also provided a very engaging musical accompaniment from a grand piano at the side of the stage.

For a few moments the magic was broken by Morgan Llewelyn Jones, as Sat. A well observed performance as the typical very difficult teenager. In contrast his friend, Sitter, an excellent capable youthful lady, Grace O’Brien, lays down a very clear introduction of the story. We meet them several times as the narrative progresses and we see Sat beginning to improve his behaviour.

We meet a determined young lady, Gerda. Gerda is an important role in this production. Anni Dafydd captures her perfectly. She is a joy to watch as we follow her on her quest to find her friend Kai, a gentle and sensitive performance from Ed Parry. He has been lured away by the Snow Queen.

So off Sat and Gerda go and they meet some very ‘interesting’ people on the way. They are spoken to very nicely by a group of very colourful bees. They are dressed in bright ‘bee suits’ by designer, Cecilia Carey who also provides some very colourful back-drop, particularly the flowery one, tended to by Ms Gardiner. A splendidly eccentric performance by Rachel Nottingham. More dazzling costumes as the bright colour of her flowers catch our eyes.

Onward again, they get harassed by a very rough Bandit Queen and a Robber Girl. As the queen Rachel Nottingham has completely transformed into a very rough and ready character and Hanna Jarman’s Robber is not far behind her. The feisty Gerda fights them off and almost in the land of the Snow Queen she comes across an extraordinary reindeer, Julian. Callum Lloyd has an extraordinary costume that gives him much more than two extra legs at the front!

Jo Servi does some great puppet work bringing ‘crow ‘to life with quite a special dynamic. By now Gerda is very weak and hungry and after some bantering with crow she persuades the bird to help her.

Stephanie McConville’s enigmatic Snow Queen slides off to the stage. More snow flakes. Matters seem to be resolving. Beneath the falling snow all the cast sing a final song. The young audience erupts with delight as they give director, Tessa Walker’s very fine production a huge round of applause. Success on the stage is quickly followed by success in the auditorium.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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