On Saturday 28th August, I went to see a preview of ‘Frozen the Musical’ at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
As a dancer one of the moments that impressed me was when the King and Queen of Arendelle died in the storm. I loved how the dancers created a stormy atmosphere. The dancers’ movement gave me the impression of stormy sea waves. I thought the storm dancers worked as a team to pull the effect off exceptionally well. In the film the King and Queen could just disappear, but in the Musical the King and Queen joined in the movement of the chorus dancers to create a more fierce storm, and then their bodies sank into the storm. In this scene they also use backlighting. Backlighting also gave the impression of the storm, because the background was going dark and light.
I thought Hans and Anna’s voices complemented each other when they were singing ‘Love Is an Open Door’. In the film Anna and Hans mimic clock hands. When they performed this section in the musical, they mimicked each other’s movements with amazing timing. I loved all the lifts. I thought one of them was very similar to a lift that people might associate with the film ‘Dirty Dancing’! In my opinion the lifts helped the audience see how willing Anna was to trust Hans. I know I wouldn’t trust anyone that much as soon as I met them! I think that both Hans and Anna have had isolated lives and when they saw each other, they were so pleased to find someone that could be their friend, as they seemed to think they had a lot in common. I think the dance routine showed that Anna was desperate to be loved and would immediately give love, to see if it would be returned. I think Anna’s trusting nature made it very easy for Hans to take advantage of her.
There were many moments that reminded me of the film, including Olaf’s tap sequence and the Duke of Weselton’s party piece.
I thought the special effects for ‘Let it go’ were incredible. I loved how the lights projected images of snowflakes and ice to create an ice kingdom. One part of the transformation is the stage another part is Elsa. First the glove appears to disappear into thin air, and then Queen Elsa’s cloak floats away. Elsa magically transitions from Queen Elsa to Snow Queen. I thought the dress change that enabled this to happen was spectacular and incredible, and it had to be very well timed. After this happened the audience erupted. In my opinion all of these effects, even if they seem small, really help the transformation of Elsa to be a success. Throughout this scene, the actor who plays Elsa has to continue singing ‘Let It Go’, and I think that she sung this beautifully. There are some effects in this scene that are missed if you sit in some seats, however if you sit closer to the stage (like I had the opportunity to do when I saw it for the second time) you are able to experience more of the effects, which are incredible!
After the interval, we head into Oken’s shop. In this scene, I particularly enjoyed the dancing, as it was very energetic and fast. I also liked how quick witted Oaken was.
In the musical, you will see the song ‘Fixer Upper’ performed in a very original way. In my opinion, having Hidden Folk, who were instead of Trolls in the film, worked well and was a very effective way of portraying mythical creatures. I loved how the ensemble changed roles throughout, but I particularly liked how they performed as Hidden Folk. I wasn’t keen on the revolving, blue diamond light but I enjoyed the song overall. Although this scene in part was very different to the film, there were small bits that reminded me of the film such as the leaf and twig crown.
During the final fight scene, I thought the scenery of the pointy icicles was an amazing effect. In my experience, this scenery works particularly well when you sit closer, as you get the scale of the icicles better; I also loved how symmetrical it was.
After the fight scene, Hans accused Elsa of killing her sister. While this is happening, gradually the chorus dancers appear wearing white alongside Anna who is running trying to find Kristoff, as she now believes he will save her from her frozen heart. The snowstorm builds up slowly, with the ensemble creating a brilliant blizzard. While the chorus dancers are creating the snowstorm, Anna’s dress gradually becomes whiter and whiter. There is a sudden stop. Then we see Anna as the ice statue. How the chorus dancers managed to create a cloak of snow blew me away, as it was impossible to see them at the end. The use of lights also had to be very well timed to pull this effect off well and it was beautiful.
Frozen has two very important messages for children and adults. Never presume someone will love you just because you love them. I also liked how it shows that sisterly love can help you realise you can accomplish anything, especially things that scare you.
I thought the musical as a whole threaded the story together brilliantly and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the film. On Saturday 23rd October I went to watch it all over again, as I enjoyed it so much!