Seeking inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 classic fairytale The Snow Queen, Disney’s 2013 smash hit Frozen adapted by Jennifer Lee re-imagines the magical story of the eponymous figure in the form of Elsa, a Princess-turned Queen of fictional kingdom Arendelle. Adapted into a stage musical by popular demand, the production sparkles, reminding us all of the power of imagination.
A production naturally lending itself to the more imaginative and mystical aspects of life, Frozen the Musical acts as a wonderful form of escapism. As a newcomer to the franchise, having never watched the film version, I go into it with fresh eyes. The show’s iconic ‘Let it Go’ the key to my introduction of it, the fact that it functions as a stand alone musical a bonus but for those more familiar with it I’m sure it is a joy to watch the magic of the Disney universe extend to the stage!
Recognised the world over, the show’s iconic tunes written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez from ‘Let it Go’ to ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’, to ‘For the First Time in Forever’, are delivered with power and grace – Samantha Barks’ demure Queen Elsa and Stephanie McKeon’s quirky princess Ana shine. We watch both siblings from childhood, a sincere portrait of life before Elsa’s realisation of her own power, before they’re pulled apart, their relationship that much more distanced the older they become. We see more of Princess Ana’s world, one where she adapts to her elder sibling ruling the kingdom, and as a result of this, not holding her level of responsibility or pressure. Queen Elsa features, but not as heavily – although the nation’s ruler, she’s ostracised for the power she embodies. As a result of this, she is hidden away, this – although we love Elsa, causing a disconnect.
Michael Grandage directs an enchanting evening full of life and continually on the move. The dynamic ensemble brim with enthusiasm as they enliven the space as courtiers and civilians of Arendelle, Dave Metzger’s orchestration fills the auditorium with warmth and joy. Christopher Oram’s intricate costume designs dazzle, we’re for a short while apart of higher society and the pomp and circumstance of that! Oram’s scenic designs inspire, Finn Ross’ creative video projections heighten the unseen, as the auditorium’s proscenium arch slowly transforms into an icy relic as Elsa showcases what she can do. Michael Curry’s playful puppetry design humorously carves out the snowman Olaf, a joyful aspect of the production further playing into the show’s magical quality.
The production captures the narrative’s sense of fun and adventure. Frozen is a tale of embracing your own individuality no matter what, no matter your age and this is important to grasp!
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Frozen the Musical is showing until October 2022 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. To find out more about the production, visit here…
To read our review of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane Tour, visit here…