The Snow Queen

Date 14th December 2021
Society Chorley Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Society
Venue Chorley Theatre
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Zoe Jones
Musical Director Paul Carr
Choreographer Hannah Liddle, Libby Burke and Danielle Edwards
Producer Ian Robinson
Written By Kitty Ball

Report

Author: Patricia Connor

After a delay of a year and also a number of other problems caused by Covid, we finally got to see CADOS’s very entertaining  pantomime production  “The Snow Queen” written by Kitty Ball, directed by the talented Zoe Jones and produced by Ian Robinson who was also responsible for some very good animation. The script was loosely based on the 1840 Hans Christian Anderson story of the same name and it was packed full of all the traditional pantomime experiences that audiences have come to know and love associated with this genre over the years. All the cast worked with lots of energy and enthusiasm to make sure that the audience were treated to a very entertaining evening’s entertainment. 

The story begins when the Snow Queen arrives in a Happy Land and promptly puts an ice spell on the land and its inhabitants, she also kidnaps people and if they don’t please her or work well she turns them into Ice Statues. Natalie Howarth fit the bill in the title role of the Snow Queen, she gave a strong performance and was suitably malevolent getting plenty of boos from the audience.One of the larger than life inhabitants of the Happy land was Dame Candy Waffle, played by Rob Walsh, who was an instant hit from his first entrance. He commanded the stage and also had a good relationship with the audience. which is very important when playing these iconic pantomime comedy roles. Dame Candy had two children called Gerda and Kai confidently played by Chloe Ferguson and Dom Nolan. Unfortunately, Kai is kidnapped by The Snow Queen with the help of her reluctant henchman, Jack Frost, played by Rebecca Moran, who managed to produced a very entertaining likeable character even though he worked for the Snow Queen. Rebecca’s blue makeup, wig and costume were also just right for the part. A Henchman needs side kicks and in this story we have Grabbit, Stephen Clipston and Runn, Alan Levesley, who made a very good comedy duo playing well off each other and demonstrating good comic timing getting plenty of laughs from the audience.

Two more very enjoyable comedy performances were from David Hartley as Mayor Moneyholden and Jane Frohock as Rennie the Rain-dear her bubble gun went down very well with the audience. So Gerda, Dame Candy and friends decide to rescue Kai, and ask for help from The  Sunshine Princess, who was played with a very nice bright and sunny disposition by Gemma Nightingale. The Princess and Jack Frost fall in love and he decides to help Garda and her friends defeat the Snow Queen. They realise that The Snow Queen’s magical pendant is controlling her and making her bad, so they destroy her pendant and she wakes as if from a dream, they rescue Kai  and Jack ask the Sunshine Princess to marry him and everything ends happily.

 The chorus was made up of young dancers from three different age groups, they all appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely while supporting the principal cast very well. They performed enjoyable well devised musical numbers skillfully and with lots of energy. The Choreography was by Hannah Liddle, Libby Burke and Danielle Edwards  

The pace of the show was just right and there was generally a very good relationship between the cast and the audience. However, to be constructive on occasions, some of the cast tended to speak a little fast meaning some dialogue wasn’t very clear and a few punch lines were lost, but this did not appear to affect the audiences enjoyment of the show.

Musical direction was by Paul Carr and musical numbers were accompanied  by backing tracks. Paul was also responsible for the very good technical design and he was assisted by Ellie Brookfield, technical support was provided by members of Chorley Youth Theatre who did an excellent job.

The very impressive Set design was by Mike Taylor and the scenery was built by a team of set builders making a very good platform for the cast to work on and adding to the atmosphere of the production. The lovely colourful Costumes by Sandra Dickinson (with thanks to charades) were as usual just right enhancing  the characters and the production . Well done to all the stage crew and all backstage workers who worked  proficiently enabling the smooth running of the production and also added to the success and authenticity of the show.

Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing this very entertaining and lots of laughs Pantomime to the stage. I know it hasn’t been easy due to Covid with  all the restrictions we as a country have had to adhere to.

Thank you very much for inviting us. We have had a lovely, enjoyable evening which is just what we need in this present climate.