Review: Frozen The Musical Is A Hygge-ful Hit
The latest Broadway import from the House of Mouse is the revitalising hit that the West End needs, after so many months on ice.
The original 2013 film grossed over a billion dollars. Its winning points – inspirational characters, a peppy script and genuinely memorable songs – are all present and correct in this stage version, which brings back many of the film’s creative talents. Those elements are boosted by the spectacular visual imagery, stirring choreography, and sparkling backing from the orchestra.
The British and Irish cast (albeit with American accents) are largely secondary to the eye candy and musical set pieces, but do well to bring their characters to life. As Elsa, the princess with unpredictable magical powers, Samantha Barks is a charismatic figure even if her voice struggles to dominate in the larger set pieces. Opposite her, Stephanie McKeon as the lovelorn Anna is both dynamic and winsome.
Of the new songs, Hygge is the most fun, but the real moneymakers like Let It Go are sheer theatre magic thanks to special effects guru Jeremy Chernik. Christopher Oram’s set design which sees the stage flip from a palace interior to a snowy mountain in seconds is highly impressive as is the way he introduces frost effects around the stage border. Olaf The Snowman and Sven The Reindeer are charmingly brought to life through bunraku puppetry and clever costuming respectively.
Only time will tell whether Frozen The Musical will achieve the success of similar marquee productions like Wicked and The Lion King, but it is undoubtedly a welcome addition to London’s rich pantheon of theatre.
Frozen The Musical, Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Booking until June 2022.
Last Updated 26 November 2021