Review - Frozen - Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Frozen - Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Transforming a hugely successful film into a stage show is a tricky task, especially when it features as many much-loved characters and a storyline as emotional as Frozen. But fear not, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane provides a tremendous adaptation, complete with special effects, the quickest costume changes Ive ever seen, and magic that no one can convince me isnt the real deal.

As the overture begins, we are greeted with the familiar melodies of the Disney spectacular and are transported to Arendelle to embark on a journey alongside two sisters who want nothing more than to spend their days laughing together - and oh, what a journey it is.

To say Frozen was designed for children, the story itself is an emotional rollercoaster, which includes some mature themes that have you on the edge of your seat one minute and then grinning with relief and joy the next. Its easy to forget youre in a theatre and not actually experiencing this journey with the characters themselves.

Samantha Barks plays an impeccable Elsa. She is regal, magical, and a real powerhouse in every scene, embodying Elsas struggles throughout. Her voice is incredible in every single number, and her transition between belting the larger notes and softly singing the more thoughtful and considerate lyrics is utterly seamless.

Char Burnett shares a joyful, yet determined Anna with excellent comedic timing and an abundance of personality. She showcases a wonderful voice, which lends itself well to Annas many duets. She plays very well opposite every other leading character, whilst still sharing Annas naivety as she navigates her newly frozen landscape.

Jemal Felix is a charming Kristoff who oozes charisma. His sidekick Sven is so cleverly brought to the stage with impressive puppetry from Ashley Birchall. Another popular puppet seen in the show is everyones favourite snowman, Olaf! Craig Gallivan brings him to life perfectly, complete with hilarious jokes, a stellar voice, and a warmth that would make even the largest glacier melt.

There are many additional characters that add personality, humour, and depth to the story, especially Hans (Oliver Ormson), Oaken (Jak Skelly), Weselton (Richard Frame), and certainly not forgetting the young starlets of the show, Martha Bailey Vine and Elizabeth Lyons as Young Anna and Elsa respectively. The two start the performance with such light and joy, and Bailey Vines confidence and comedic timing is very impressive for such a young performer.

Admittedly, low-level audience disruption throughout is a slight distraction, but the magic of children embarking on what is possibly their first theatrical experience of many far outweighs this, as do the Oooh's" and Aaah's" that we hear as the beloved characters make their first appearances. It is important to remember that the stage show is not a direct replica of the film. An additional 15 songs have been added to the stage version and a number of scenes have been altered to provide, in my opinion, more entertaining dialogue. The script has been updated to be topical and humorous and includes jokes for the adults in the audience that often go over the heads of younger guests.

Overall, Frozen provides a magical evening of entertainment for visitors of all ages and I look forward to visiting the Theatre Royal to build a snowman again very soon.

This show was reviewed on the 11th May 2023.  Frozen The Musical is currently booking until the 15th October 2023.  Tickets available here: Frozen the Musical | Homepage

***** stars

Jasmine Richards

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Photo credit: Johan Persson