The Snow Queen
theater simple @ The Odeon Theatre
10:00am, Tue 9 Mar 2010
So – March the 9th. My birthday! And theater simple just happened to be opening a trio of shows at the Odeon today. What a lovely present!
I have a nice chat with the lovely Fiona at the front-of-house, and then spot Ian (last seen at Ava’s Grá) and Canberran mate Peter, and chat with them and Greg about their arts-shopping expeditions around Adelaide (and even got a chance to introduce them to the ferociously talented local, Edwin Kemp Attrill). But as we sat in the Odeon, I grew concerned when three school groups piled in… I needn’t have worried, though because – even with a group of kids with developmental difficulties – this still managed to be one of the better-behaved school matinee audiences.
The Snow Queen is a rendition of the Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale; theater simple also produced an outdoor, roaming version of the play (Gerda’s Journey, my first show this year… it seems so long ago!). Yana Kesala and Ian Lindsay reprise their wonderful roles as Gerda and Kai, but it’s the differences to Gerda’s that makes this really stand out – the rest of the cast (Llysa, Ricky, and Pamala) are constantly switching between characters, with more costume changes than a Kylie Minogue tour.
It’s a much more polished production as a result of the controlled environment; the singing is more pronounced, and absolutely lovely (though I did miss the sweet twitter of the sparrow). And, if anything, the (much) smaller cast force theater simple to be even more imaginative, spinning more of the tale within our own heads.
The Snow Queen was a fantastic example of what theater simple do best: produce fantastic theatre with quality acting and a minimum of fuss, and letting the audience create much of the experience for themselves. Sure, it’s a whimsically twee tale, but that doesn’t matter when it’s so satisfying to watch.