The Snow Queen (4 stars)

Live music and fine acting bring Hans Christian Andersen's tale to life on stage

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The Snow Queen

Hans Christian Andersen's tale gets a musical, child-friendly adaptation from Shanghai-based theatre company, Theatre Anon. Like the original fairytale, where a boy gets a shard of glass from a magic mirror in his heart, and becomes cold and nasty overnight, the story revolves around that very old chestnut, the battle between good and evil.

But as well known as the fairytale, and that age old struggle is, the skilled company (directed by Arran Hawkins who brought the Nina Simone-inspired Black is the Color of My Voice to the Fringe last year) manage to create something fresh and entertaining.

When Kay disappears with the Snow Queen, his friend Gerda becomes obsessed with finding him, and thawing out his frozen heart again. On her journey she bumps into squawking foreign language ravens, an enchanted bunch of flowers, a princess who rings loud bells of Miranda Richardson's Queen in Blackadder, and a streetwise robber girl, who loans Gerda her pet reindeer to travel to Lapland.

Watching the very versatile cast morph from grumpy Americans to cosseting old women from Scandinavia is good fun, and the live music (low baritone vocals, frilly flute solos and pirate shanties on acoustic guitar) makes for a nicely rounded, high quality show.

Gilded Balloon at the Museum, until 29 Aug, 1pm, £9--£10 (£7-£8).

The Snow Queen

  • 4 stars

Theatre Anon Theatre Anon take you into the world of Hans Christian Andersen with their acclaimed adaptation. Join Gerda as she journeys through strange lands in search of a little lost boy, her best friend Kay. Meet robbers and royalty, friendly ravens and talking reindeer. All brought to life with original music…

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