REVIEW: The Snow Queen, Iris Theatre (Online)

Charmingly interactive and filled with plenty of interaction, this take on the classic story will fascinate young audiences.

Adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s story, following the adventures of  Gerda as she attempts to rescue her friend Kai, this online storytelling adventure really allows the young audience members and the ‘big people’ they are watching with to use their imagination.

Guiding the adventurers on their way, while telling Gerda and Kai’s story, is narrator Holly (Leda Douglas) who takes us on a journey that sees us travelling across rivers, interacting with royalty and discovering talking flowers.

Directed and adapted for this version by Natasha Rickman, the production features wonderfully family friendly technology by to bring characters such as the Snow Queen to life and the variety of magical locations to life. Bold and colourful, it effectively draws the audience into the story – with plenty of magic in between.

What makes this production so joyful is the way in which it encourages the children (and grown ups) to really use their imagination – from getting them to use something blue to recreating a river to practising their royal bows, it is thoroughly engaging from start to finish. The kids that we could see really looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Of course, with so much reliance on technology, it can seem that in places that transitions between different locations can look slightly awkward, while initially getting the children to repeat actions quite so much feels a bit over done- such as getting them to blow on a book that refuses to open.

But there is no denying that the whole story unfolds at a nice pace – its uncomplicated storytelling keeps the excitement of the adventures that Gerda goes on right at the centre and never gets too bogged down with the details.

It is consistently playful and enjoyable to watch – thanks to Leda Douglas’s earnest, enthusiastic and likeable performance as Holly. The way she emphasises certain elements of the story through her expressions and mannerisms ensures complete focus and attention from the audience.

At around about an hour in length, The Snow Queen is a magical and inventive way to bring this story to life that is immensely enjoyable to watch from start to finish.

By Emma Clarendon

The Snow Queen is available to watch live at home until the 26th December.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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