Theatre Review: The Snow Queen, Storyhouse Chester

The Snow Queen
Image Source: Cheshire Live

Show: The Snow Queen
Location: Storyhouse Chester
Date: Monday December 13 2022 (runs until Sunday January 15 2023)
Time: 19.30
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 8+
Producer: Storyhouse
Writer: Charles Way
Director: Hannah Noone
Designer: Jacob Hughes

This is our review of The Snow Queen at Storyhouse Chester. So, let’s take a look at The Snow Queen!

Description Of The Snow Queen

They say ‘God gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to you’, so by extension, the Rock n’ Roll Panto. But Storyhouse presents a divine disco panto, complete with sprinklings of psychedelia and glam rock. Music fuels the characters and feeds the plot, and we all know the story of course. Actually, an early reminder that Gerda’s perambulations in search of her missing friend, Cei, would have been handy, taking her through the kingdoms of the other three seasons. It’s the fourth season, in the shape of the Snow Queen, which is a danger to the world and she has abducted Cei to fix the magic mirror which will make her dreams come true – everybody else’s worst nightmare. Speaking of which, the dreaded audience participation involved them being coaxed to boogie on down on the stage – in vain.

Analysis Of The Snow Queen

The disco theme is elevated by having the band’s costumes mirror those of the characters, and they’re on show way up high above a constantly changing set, from cosy indoors to rugged outdoors. Sound and vision (from video in the background), are effectively used to evoke tension from storms and other dangers and create an eerie atmosphere. Not too sure about the two containers used for the homes of the children’s neighbouring houses tho this does convey a sense of small-town claustrophobia; hardly surprising that Gerda appears to be prone to obsessiveness and anxiety. But she is also courageous and quick thinking, in a winning portrayal from Rosemarie Akwafo. Taona Matope as Cei is altogether livelier, while Villainess Lucy Tuck, somehow rather subdued in Part I, sparkles with gleeful malevolence in Part II.


The hard-working cast is first class at multi-tasking with role play ranging from freaky flowers, or playful plants if you prefer, to a gruesome bunch of robbers, the most amusing sequence being Summer, the domain of Surfer Dudes and Valley Girls where Beach Boys and Jane Fonda lookalikes rule. Kate Malyon is as affectionate and laid back as Cei’s mother as Tom Richardson, Gerda’s father is strict and overbearing. However, he mutates into a dozy Snowdrop and later, wise old reindeer, Bae, with a talent for hoofing it as a tap-dancer.

In between, he puts in an appearance as JJ, a dandy sidekick to Prince Fred. The latter, portrayed by Will Kirk, glows in his multi-coloured costume, heading for a match made in heaven with the ebullient Princess Frederica, and Kate Malyon is totally, totally brilliant as the spoilt Royal, shining every bit as brightly. BFF Lily, Chloe Wade, takes a turn to the dark side as the sinister Robber Girl, both roles being enhanced by her distinctive accent, with a touch of US actress in the former. Finally – but not least, Flo Wilson makes a brisk Narrator, kindly Grandmother, and unearthly Mrs Deer.

Summary Of The Snow Queen

You can see the influence Andersen’s fairy tale has to this day, including the Narnia Chronicles, as well as Frozen. In line with the times, especially during this ferocious Winter, it has inspired another fantastic evening’s entertainment at Storyhouse.

Overall Rating: 7/10 – Respectable