The Snow Queen

What is magic, really? Is it an evil enchantress who can freeze a person in ice? Is it a crow who can talk? Or is it seeing dozens of little faces light up with joy? The Snow Queen at Brighton Open Air Theatre has all three.

Sure to charm the whole family

After a long year, this adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale couldn’t be more apt for 2020. A land where time feels frozen? Check. People seeing only the bad and ugly in things? Check. But watching live theatre outdoors with a real (socially distanced) audience, smiling and giggling, melts the year’s troubles away, at least for an hour.

The Snow Queen tells the story of Greta and her search for her brother Kay, who has been stolen away by the eponymous Snow Queen herself. Greta is played by Jade Kennedy with childish innocence and Antonia Draper gets plenty of opportunity to flaunt her comedy chops (and many accents) in multiple roles, most prominently as the Bear guard to the Queen’s palace. The star of the show was Crow, Greta’s wise-cracking feathered sidekick, expertly puppeteered by Douglas Rutter. The entire audience fell in love with him as soon as he bounced onto stage, full of sass and Christmas cracker jokes. He was much missed whenever he wasn’t around, although Greta and the Bear were able to provide plenty of laughs on their own with their excellent ice-skating scene.

Set and costume design by Eleanor Bull was simple, but effective. Kennedy’s oversized dungarees helped to make her appear younger than her years and Draper was easily able to transform into a host of characters with a quick change of accessories. Connor Lovejoy worked wonders with the lighting design, from the festive strings of lights twinkling in the background, to the dramatic lighting used to create the illusion of dramatically falling through the air.

The plot is occasionally complicated: Kay’s initial disappearance perhaps wasn’t explained clearly enough after he storms off stage, with some children left questioning what where he’d gone. There were also a few missed opportunities, such as the wordy opening of the play, which could have better visualised the smashing of the mirror for the young audience. However, small grumbles aside, this is a production that is sure to charm the whole family. Playwright Tatty Hennessy has succeeded in bringing what is originally a long and complex story onto a modern stage. It’s no feat to enrapture children under ten, but the whole audience was extremely well behaved, spellbound by the story on stage.

If you’re looking for a boisterous pantomime, this isn’t it. It is a sophisticated and humorous production that is already a sell out success and sure to be a memorable way to end a very difficult year for those lucky enough to have tickets.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Elanor Parker

The Living Record

Petrichor

★★★★
St Mary's Church

Geoff Robb: The Music of Trees

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

Frills and Spills

★★★★
The Living Record

Broken Link

★★★
4 Rigden Road

About The Garden

★★★
The Space

The Black Cat

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Greta’s brother, Kay, has been acting strange. He’s mean and moody and won’t play games. The Snow Queen must have snatched him, and left an imposter in his place! With her new friend, the wise-cracking, fame-hungry talking Crow to guide her, Greta must set out across the snow to search for her brother in the Snow Queen’s palace and bring him home in time for Christmas.

Funny, magic and full of surprises, this new modern adaptation of The Snow Queen is a perfect family Christmas adventure. So wrap up warm, grab a mulled wine from the bar, and enjoy this socially-distanced festive treat.

Most Popular See More

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Constellations

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wonderment Magic & Illusion

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets