Frozen at Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Following the huge success of the Disney animated feature of Frozen in 2013, this enchanting theatrical adaptation is brought to the stage in a spectacular production, unveiled in the illustrious surrounds of the Theatre Royal, which in itself presents the ideal backdrop for the fictional kingdom of Arendelle.
Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen but revised to embody a less stifling version of good and evil, the story follows two young princesses, Elsa and Anna, who are torn apart by tragedy and misplaced magical powers. With their kingdom then trapped in eternal winter, and Elsa cast out, Anna bravely sets out to reconnect with her sister and undo the spell bestowed upon them.
This musical adaptation, directed by Michael Grandage and written by Jennifer Lee, is steeped in stunning visuals. The set design and special effects embrace swirling aurora borealis, a rickety frozen bridge and icicles that shoot out from the wings, whilst alongside this, the lively and precise choreography work from Rob Ashford never falls short of impeccable.
In the centre of this show are Samantha Barks as the ethereal ice queen, Elsa, and Stephanie Mckeon as her wide-eyed, courageous sister Anna. Bark’s performance is expressive and emotional, her character far removed from the monstrous identity that she believes she’s become. Her rendition of Let it Go builds into such an absorbing and mesmerising crescendo that it’s almost a shock when it stops and brings viewers to the end of the first half.
With music and lyrics from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (who also created the original songs for the film), the sea of mini Elsas in the audience are not only entranced by the songs they know but by the few added extras too. A comical number marking a play on the nordic word hygge involves a naked congo line of dancers wearing carefully arranged sauna whisks; it’s playful scenes like this that help deliver a lighter feel to the darker elements of the show.
Puppetry from Michael Curry brings the characters of the beloved snowman Olaf, manipulated by Craig Gallivan, and ice-merchant Kristoff’s (Obioma Ugala) trusty reindeer, Sven, to the stage amongst a wave of gasps and giggles. These puppets demonstrate the message of true friendship as they stop at nothing to help seal the fate of the two estranged princesses and bring love, harmony and restoration to the kingdom.
This family-friendly spectacle is a sub-zero sensation that shows every little princess the importance of family, friendship and love, and that in fact not every little girl needs a handsome prince to rescue her.
Frozen is at Theatre Royal Drury Lane until 23rd October 2022. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here. You can also find a link to SeatPlan’s Frozen page here. SeatPlan collates user-submitted seat photos and reviews to help theatregoers find and book the best seats for their budget. They feature venues in London and the UK regionally, with a theatre token rewards scheme for anyone uploading their view from seat photos.