Theatre Anon’s production of Hans Christian Andersen’s
There’s plenty of exciting props to take us to this fantasy land, and the music is original and enjoyable
Forget summer (not too hard with Edinburgh’s idea of August): this is a tale that takes us to the land of eternal snow, when the Snow Queen whisks away Gerda’s best friend Kay and she must set out on a journey to rescue him. On her way, she is helped and hindered by many characters, often stopped the longest by the ones who simply want her to stay with them and be loved. Even the Snow Queen simply wants a companion.
The story is narrated with great panache and all the actors are very energetic (and they need to be; they’ve each got several characters to play). There’s plenty of exciting props to take us to this fantasy land, and the music is original and enjoyable. We have a guitar and on one occasion a flute that provide nice accompaniments to the narration. It’s most suitable for children who don’t get scared by loud noises though, and preferably know the meaning of “eternal” (it’s part of the story).
While this is an enjoyable show, this is perhaps its drawback: it conflates some of the age groups that it is appealing to, requiring extended concentration from the youngest and serving as a hammier kind of acting to older children. Nonetheless everyone can still take something different away from it, and it’s broadly appealing to the whole family.
With assured storytelling, smooth acting and some lovely songs, this is a solid, if not exceptional, piece of theatre based on a classic fairytale.