Friday, December 16, 2016

the snow queen…

Moira and I went along to the Bristol Old Vic last night to Lee Lyford’s version of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen” (duly re-written/adapted by Vivienne Franzmann).
Somewhat ridiculously, this was the first time we’d seen a performance at the Old Vic in this, its 250th year!
It proved to be a good night out. The highlight was undoubtedly the evil, sinister Snow Queen herself – towering over the audience and coming to life, thanks to the brilliance of Marc Parrett’s puppetry design. Will Duke’s video projections were also impressive - as were the cast in their multi-tasking/multi-character roles.
But, strangely, I was left feeling that the production lacked a true sense theatrical magic.
The music was fine, but unexceptional (but perhaps I’ve just been completely spoiled by hearing/seeing Benji Bower+Co over recent years!); the acting was good but, sometimes, I felt that the ‘characterisation’ made some of what was being said somewhat incoherent or muddled; some of the set design was absolutely excellent, but (to my mind) some scenes/props were unnecessary and/or unconvincing.
I think my main criticism is that the story had too many themes and twists and, at times (quite frequently in my view), lost its way. Vivienne Franzmann’s adaptation maintained the major plot points - and many of the characters of the original tale - and combined them with new characters and several modern twists. Frankly, it left me feeling that she’d over-complicated things… and that someone needed to edit the script quite severely!
Hey, but what do I know!?
Moira was also slightly disappointed by the production, judging by the reaction of the rest of the audience, most people seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the show. Why don’t you see it for yourself and make up your own mind (it runs until 15 January)?

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