Felix Cat

Felix

The student newspaper of Imperial College London

Menu Icon

Felix

Issue 1779 (PDF)
The student newspaper of Imperial College London


Keep the Cat Free


The Most Magical Show There Ever Was

Frozen’s stage adaptation is filled with amazing effects that will make anyone aged 5 to 85 gape in awe.

Photo: Johan Persson

Arts

in Issue 1779

Theatre

Frozen: The Musical

★ ★ ★ ★
Where
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
When
Until 26th June 2022
Cost
From £20

In the lobby of the beautiful Theatre Royal the magic in the air is palpable as dozens of little Elsas and Annas doddle around. The adults present look on fondly, remembering how the immense success the 2013 film captured the imagination of so many: little do they know that the West End production they are about to see will leave them as spellbound as an 8-year-old girl.

The performance effects were truly other worldly, as Elsa (Samantha Barks) gestures around the stage ice appears in the most beautiful way. In moments of anger, huge shards of ice explode out with such speed it makes the audience jump. Even without the commotion of snow and capes flying everywhere, the set design was remarkable in isolation. The wooden palace, flowery garden, and chalet-style shop sets are so detailed and intricate they are almost pieces of art.

Photo: Johan Persson
Stephanie McKeon (Anna) and Oliver Ormson (Hans).

Sometimes, stage adaptations of such popular films find it hard to stick to the script whilst deviating enough to explore a fresh take and ensure the production is stage worthy. Frozen managed to skate that fine line. I enjoyed the additional songs and, although the lead up and transition into Let it Go seemed a bit forced, once the audience sees an ice palace built before their very eyes, and the magical transformation of Elsa into her sparkly icy dress, they quickly forget this minor bump in the road.

...the audience sees an ice palace built before their very eyes...

It is a shame that Elsa gets little interaction with others on stage (such is her icy character, I suppose) as she is often alone in her beautiful ice palace, flawlessly belting out ballads, as goofy Anna (Stephanie McKeon) is given more room to develop through her meetings with a string of peculiar characters. Both actresses bring something different to the roles. Barks sings impeccably and embodies Elsa’s icy demeanour, while McKeon’s high energy and fun tone works perfectly for the younger princess.

One of the most adored and recognisable characters from the movie, Olaf (Craig Gallivan), enters late in the show but still manages to capture the most laughs and love from the audience. Kristoff (Obioma Ugoala) is another character oozing with personality and portrayed by a performer who exudes even more talent. It would have been great to see more of him, rather than only a ten-minute song about the Danish concept of Hygge featuring naked dancers coming in and out of a sauna. This was funny at the time but didn’t add that much to an already jam-packed show where some characters needed a bit more time to shine.

The special effects and overall stage design were so sensational it sometimes felt as though other aspects of the show were easily overlooked. For example, the choreography of the large ballroom dance numbers. In the first half, the ensemble were easily overshadowed by other happenings on stage but, in the final ice scene, their coordination and ability to portray the emotion finally began to shine.

Photo: Johan Persson
Stephanie McKeon (Anna) and Obioma Ugoala (Kristoff)

The special effects and overall stage design were so sensational it sometimes felt as though other aspects of the show were easily overlooked. For example, the choreography of the large ballroom dance numbers. In the first half, the ensemble were easily overshadowed by other happenings on stage but, in the final ice scene, their coordination and ability to portray the emotion finally began to shine.

Overall, this is a must-see show, even the purist of theatre lovers can appreciate the spectacle and, for anyone else, the effects will blow you away, and the refreshing story will make you a bit teary but very happy.

Also in this issue...

Top Stories

Readership