Theatre Review: The Snow Queen

Theatre by the Lake production of THE SNOW QUEEN adapted by Charles Way Directed by Mary Papadima

L to R: Jennifer English (Gerda), Matt Addis (Bae). Photo by Keith Pattison.

by Ken Powell

If you’re looking for something festive but isn’t a pantomime, head over to Keswick for a beautiful show for all ages.

Theatre by the Lake’s new production for the festive season is an adaptation of Hans Christen Andersen’s classic tale of two young friends separated by the ghastly Snow Queen when she takes Cei (Huw Blainey) to make him repair her mirror. With it she will turn the world to an eternal period of Winter. While the whole town believes him dead, Gerda (Jennifer English) refuses to give up on her childhood friend and braves dangers from all the seasons to find him.

The production is lavish and the special effects particularly impressive – they’re quite simply dazzling. The show contains all the right elements with dark danger carefully well-balanced with hilarity. The cast has been well-chosen and all of them are strong actors so this is a particularly good show this year.

It should be reiterated that this isn’t a pantomime but a great introduction for younger ones to the world of theatre. There are darker moments which very young ones who are nervous might find a little scary but nothing on stage to see which might frighten at all and older pre-teens will have no problem. From where I sat all around me there were children and adults alike roaring with laughter for much of the time and I’m not ashamed to say I joined in.

Theatre by the Lake production of THE SNOW QUEEN adapted by Charles Way Directed by Mary Papadima

L to R: Huw Blainey (Prince Fredrick), Neal Craig (JJ). Photo by Keith Pattison.

A highlight for me was the two princes. I won’t give anything away but their scenes had me giggling more than the kids – just. Artistically, I enjoyed the subtle journey through the seasons which result in a clever end – quite a deep message, for those that notice it, of our own failings, selfishness and fickle humanity. It was a nice touch.

So The Snow Queen is a show I can warmly recommend and the good news is that the production goes on until Saturday 16 January – so if Christmas is all getting too busy for you, there’s something to do early in the new year just when that post-Christmas slump hits hard. But book your tickets now! TBTL has enjoyed its best year ever with consistently packed houses and winning numerous awards, so the company has never been more popular. Get your tickets while you still can.

The Snow Queen runs until Saturday 16 January 2016 and tickets are available at www.theatrebythelake.com or at the box office (017687 74411)