The Snow Queen

Written and Directed by Teresa Ludovico
Liverpool Playhouse (20th-24th March 2007)

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, presented by the acclaimed Italian theatre company Teatro Kismet and co-produced by the Playhouse, is a visual treat for all ages.

The audience, which comprised mainly children, were enthralled throughout by the sheer energy of the performers - be they acrobats, dancers or even those wearing facemasks on their bottoms!

You know you are going to be treated to something unusual even before the curtain rises when you take your seat while a giant man on stage talks gobbledegook in Italian and English while feverishly trying to pull his hair out.

The story revolves around the imprisonment of Kay (Alberto Prandini) by the wicked Japanese-like Snow Queen (Elisabeeta di Terlizzi) in her ice palace, who freezes his heart. She is covered in a huge white sheet, which extends from the stage to the ceiling. His friend Little Gerda then sets out in pursuit of him, meeting fantastic creatures, such as flower people, and overcoming various sorts of danger while on her quest.

Other fascinating elements in the production directed by Teresa Ludovico include heads on poles festooning the stage, superb lighting effects and stirring electronic and ambient music.

But best of all is the wondrous and magical falling of snow, which lasted for nearly five minutes, near the end of this tale to remember.

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