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The Snow Queen (Edinburgh)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale centres on The Snow Queen, a chilling sorceress who captures children. Thus begins Helen Mackay's Gerda's mission to rescue her step-brother Kay, a voyage to the top of the world, where she encounters reindeer, ravens and robbers. Stuart Paterson has become known for his modern day re-telling of classic tales but The Snow Queen was the first to be given his treatment.

Jeanine Davies’ lighting design is inventive and captivating: the mirror shards circle the audience like a threatening disco ball display. Within the cast, Mark Prendergast and Grant O’Rourke deliver superb comic performances. Unfortunately the Snow Queen herself, Allison McKenzie, although suitably menacing, expresses every emotion with unnecessary overdramatic arm gestures.

The first act ends with a rather magical effect (designer, Ken Harrison). Despite this show being an awkward hybrid, caught somewhere between a children’s show and a traditional pantomime, The Snow Queen is loveable enough to warm the hardest of hearts.

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