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The Snow Queen

Cumbernauld Theatre
Four stars
It's worth wrapping up warm for the fun-sized wintry adventure enticing 
wand-waving young audiences to Cumbernauld this year. The wooly-hatted 
and winter jumpered cast of five are already onstage to greet them at 
the opening of director Ed Robson's new take on Hans Christian 
Andsersen's beloved tale. As the cheery quintet set the scene of young 
Gerda's quest to free her best friend Kai from the clutches of the 
dreaded Queen, each peels off to become a multitude of larger than life 
characters Gerda meets en route.

With Samantha Foley playing Gerda with wide-eyed gusto, one minute the 
others are operating a puppet of Jerry The Ferry Frog as Gerda attempts 
to cross the lake, the next they've become a pair of wax moustached 
Welsh guards. Nicky Elliot becomes Gerda's faithful on the road 
sidekick Dug the daft dog, Heather Pascal makes for an ethereal 
Princess of Dreams, while Julie Brown doubles up as a Flower Lady who 
plants singing flowers around her cottage before playing The Snow Queen 
herself with ice-cold demeanour and a heart to match.

Gerda almost falls into the clutches of a dysfunctional and flatulent 
family of oversize insect-like creatures before introducing the joy of 
both reading and star-gazing to its youngest member, then whooshes off 
on a magic bogie to see the Northern Lights and rescue Colin McGowan's 
Kai with the aid of a single red rose that almost melts the Snow 
Queen's heart. With some fine video work from Craig Kirk accentuating 
the magic, Robson and co have navigated a very special journey that 
shows just how vital it is to stay in touch with the child within.

The Herald, December 9th 2013

ends

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