We took our 4-year-old daughter to see Frozen the musical. The Theatre Royal Drury Lane was buzzing with kids wearing Elsa outfits and there was a full house. We’d had these seats for two years so were excited to finally see the production.
I struggle with a lot of Disney. There is something too cutsie and over sentimentalised about a lot of their storytelling, but I can’t dispute the figures – children in their millions love it and Disney know this. They have a winning formula, and it is very successful.
“This production didn’t try to be the cartoon, it found a theatrical way to story tell using the chorus to bring alive this journey from coldness to warmth.”
Most parents of young children will know the story of Anna and Elsa. The idea of siblings loving each other and falling out must be played out in every family in the world. The sets and costumes were fantastic as you would expect. This production didn’t try to be the cartoon, it found a theatrical way to story tell using the chorus to bring alive this journey from coldness to warmth.
I’m an adult so my take is different from my daughter – who was enthralled and sat transfixed throughout. Maybe I’m a little cynical because I have written some musical plays in my time. Musicals obviously are full of songs. Some songs are “I am – this is me” songs and others are “I want” songs. The problem with musicals is how do you go from speaking to singing without being clunky with the gear change. For the most part here it worked well here although some songs seem just an excuse to celebrate “fixer uppers” or the Danish word “Hygge” – which essentially means cosiness. It’s amusing and entertaining but doesn’t really add anything.
“At then right at the end of the first act Elsa suddenly lets rip with Let it Go and her power shoots across the stage as freezing ice. I was captured by it and moved and then the curtain came down.”
I yearned for something less surface – something that took us deeper into the real feelings inside the main characters. As in all fairy stories their journey is a test that shows us what they are really like, but I didn’t feel the struggle inside them. At then right at the end of the first act Elsa suddenly lets rip with Let it Go and her power shoots across the stage as freezing ice. I was captured by it and moved and then the curtain came down.
I must believe in what I am watching. I don’t expect it to be realistic – that would be ridiculous, but I want to connect with the people on stage. To feel as the character does. So, for most of the show I found this difficult, it wasn’t really speaking to me so I wasn’t with it.
But then I become drawn more into the story and what the characters represent. The struggle for good over evil is with us all the time. We meet people who would hurt us or use us for their own needs. Often, we don’t realise it at the time, but we know we should watch out in life. When Hans, the love interest of Anna, admitted he was using her – there was a huge gasp across the audience. We want happy endings. We want people to be nice and care for each other. The story touches us and expresses how we want people to be.
I was captured again and ended up, like all the children around me, rooting for the sisters and a better world. It reminded me why we take young children to the theatre at this time of year. It’s to show them the world as it might be and how we have to work to find the love and good in things.
We are very much looking forward to the Spring term at our Award-Winning performing arts schools, teaching young people skills in dancing, acting and singing. Our theatre classes are a great way of introducing the young to the performing arts. If you would like to find out more about our weekend stage schools or your child has shown an interest in attending drama, dance and singing lessons then visit our website www.theatretrain.co.uk to book a taster session