The Snow Queen

Date 7th December 2019
Society Jigsaw Players Theatre Company
Venue The Trinity Centre, Lickey, Worcestershire
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Maggie Bishton
Assistant Director Su Fletcher
Choreographer Samantha Copson-Godwin assisted by Madison Copson

Report

Author: Andy Brown

It was one year to the day since the last time I attended a pantomime by Jigsaw Players Theatre Company. This year was a more unusual title and one not often seen with the baddie in the title role. Nevertheless, director Maggie Bishton once again brought a large number (convinced even more this year than last) of people to the small stage at The Trinity Centre.

Set in Scandinavia naming at least Finland, Denmark and Sweden and taking us through all four seasons the pantomime contained all the ingredients expected of a traditional family pantomime with very little in the way of double -entendres.

As in previous years Maggie had worked with different teams with some of the main roles shared. The performance seen involved team ‘frost’, but I am sure team ‘snow’ provided an equally enjoyable performance.

Regrettably with so many involved it would not be possible to name anywhere near all those who took part. However, a few people do need to be mentioned.

The performance opened with Snowdrop -Spirit of Spring (the good fairy) singing her first song. The role was played by Eva Haynes who delivered a strong opening and remained consistently good both in character and performance.

Alison Gregory as the glamorous baddie The Snow Queen was excellent throughout the show and deserves congratulations on her performance. She was suitably evil while not making any mention to ‘global warming.’

A likeable and warm dame was portrayed by Keith Lovell dressed in costumes suitable for the setting of the pantomime known to everyone as Grannie Annie who was generous with sweets from her shop.

The pantomime is based upon the story by Hans Christian Anderson and the character was brought to life as a narrator by Stuart McDonald. The interweaving of the story telling was well done by Stuart.

There were good performances from Libby Barrett as Gerda (principal girl), Harrison Daley as Kal (principal boy) and Keelan Pavitt as Helmut (comedy role). Other notable performances from Nathan Levett as Ziggy, Liv Archer as Frederika, Sam Ryan as Rufus, Roma Bradley as Blossom, Emily Davis as Caw, Claire Dealaselle as Sunbeam, Bernard McEldowney as Henrik and Dylan Gould as Precious

Scenes were well staged such as in Grannie Annie’s attic and the sweetshop which was well rehearsed while listing every chocolate bar and sweet you can think of.

Chorus numbers were strong but no more so than the flower power/ hippy commune scene including songs from Hair such as Aquarius and beach boy’s material. I also enjoyed the finale with a splendid rendition from Kinky Boots.

The ‘panto dancers’ namely Ella Adamson, Liv Archer, Brooke Copson, Holly Elliott and Leah Smith provided some well-rehearsed routines throughout the show. Each routine was good there were however a lot of them.

The stage facilities are limited resulting in action either on full stage, in front of tabs, on the flat or a combination. There was some good use of the aisle and the flat area in front of the stage. Some scene changes took a few moments too long and along with the number of songs and dance routines it was a long show. Overall the pantomime lasted for three hours, with the interval coming after one and a half hours, so maybe some cuts were necessary.

Jigsaw Theatre Company always access good quality costumes and this year was no exception.  The set was simple but effective. The sledge and the Queen’s chair were well made and looked realistic from the front.

The lighting and sound quality were good. Most of the cast could be easily heard and effective lighting helped with the scene setting especially highlighting the warm and cool settings for the good fairy and Snow Queen.  

Well done to Maggie Bishton and production team for another successful pantomime. Those rehearsals since September paid off and I am sure you are proud of the result.

Moving on to 2020 I look forward to ‘Something’s Afoot’ in March as well as hearing the announcement of the pantomime title.