The Snow Queen

Date 9th January 2016
Society Ace Theatre Group
Venue Marven Centre
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Carol Wratten
Musical Director Valerie Caton
Choreographer Carol Wratten

Report

Author: Decia Ranger

The Ace Theatre Company’s annual panto is obviously very popular, judging by the full house at this opening performance and it was apparent from curtain up that a lot of work had gone into this production.  

The story of The Snow Queen is popular amongst Societies looking for a break from the traditional panto.  The Ace Theatre Company’s version, cleverly devised by Carol Wratten, introduced us to other characters including two Danish Princes. I did wonder if this would be rather confusing but as pantomimes are not meant to have a serious storyline, I decided it was best to just sit back and enjoy the action. 

The lovely opening scene and prologue by Nina Downing as Wise Woman took us into a world of make believe.  There were some good performances from Karen Salter Poole as The Snow Queen and Tanisha Smith and Rose Smithet as her henchwomen, Despair and Anguish. 

Thomas Gammon as Hans Christian Anderson, although young, played his role well.  There were also nice performances from Niamh Downing as Marie and Will Lucas-Evans as Peter.

Teresa Wallman and Sofia Frataroli as the Princes Nickolai and Vincent gave confident performances and complimented each other well.  

The Pantomime Dame is the link between the goodies and baddies.  This is not an easy role, requiring confidence and experience to carry it off.  I thought Richard Cook did a good job most of the time, but just occasionally appeared to be ill at ease. 

Robin Poulter as Tom Cobbler looked as though he was thoroughly enjoying his role.  I would hazard a guess he’s done this sort of thing before! 

There were many talented performers in this show and some lovely dancing.  Dance routines were well executed with just one or two of the younger children seeming a little unsure of their steps.  However, having been told that some of them were performing for the first time, some allowance must be made. 

A pianist and drummer supported by backing tracks worked well, although I felt that performance tracks without vocals would have been preferable, allowing the cast to lead the singing. 

The costumes were lovely as was the very effective scenery and lighting.

Overall, another pantomime success for this talented Production Team.