The Snow Queen

Date 1st February 2020
Society Bolsover Drama Group
Venue The Assembly Rooms, Bolsover
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Leanne Collins Mick Whitehouse
Musical Director Leanne Collins
Choreographer Leanne Collins


Author: Joyce Handbury

Alan Frayn’s pantomine version of the classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen, written by Hans Christian Anderson tells how following a terrible storm, a glass mirror belonging to The Snow Queen smashes into pieces that swirl around in the wind and one of the fragments eventually enters the eye of Kai making him heartless. The Snow Queen kidnaps him, which results in his best friend Gerda setting out on a journey to find him, traveling from Denmark to the frozen North, passing through the seasons and having some interesting encounters along the way. 

Hans was the narrator of the piece and Istvan Koszegi did a good job of relating the story to us throughout the proceedings. Keyleigh Constable was super as the glamorous Snow Queen and most definitely brought a dramatic, evil and icy coldness to the character with her nasty, frosty manner and on mentioning her concern about ‘global warming’ insisted that no one in the audience utter these words when she appeared, well........ need I say more!! Her evil henchman, Henrik, with a hunchback, awkward gait and a great ‘gravelly’ voice, was ideally played by Paul Holland and he was well assisted by two very young Trolls, Elliot Burton and Anthony Wood. Of course, in panto-land when there’s ‘evil’ there has to be ‘good’ and here attempting to thwart The Snow Queen’s evil plans was Snowdrop, so sweetly and delightfully played by Leanne Holloway. As has been said many times, every pantomime needs a good Dame and here Derrick Hulett proved to be just that. As Gran, (or Granny, Fanny, Annie, as we were told to call her) Derrick captured the very essence of the character with his enthusiasm, his comic timing, his reactions with the audience, (especially the innuendoes with ‘Richard’, a member of the audience) which were all so well delivered - a great performance. Her granddaughter, Gerda, was extremely well played by Tara Foster she portrayed the innocence of her whilst delivering a very confident and self assured portrayal. Gareth Elvidge was splendid and very convincing as Gerda’s best friend Kai, he captured the change in his personality after coming under the Snow Queen’s power wonderfully and a first-rate performance came from Jared Higgins as Helmut, the daft cousin of Gerda. Excellent support came for those in the more minor roles. Ray Wignall was great as Hippy, Ziggy, as was Amanda Huntingdon as Hippy Princess, Sunbeam and Abbie Proud was charming as Blossom. Donna Knowles was excellent as the Robber Chief as was fellow robber, Frederika played by Olivia Corbett. Super comedic inputs came from Nicky Constable as Konrad and Peter Maddison as Olaf/Precious and Lyndsey Ashley was hilarious as Caw, the Raven, with her very realistic ‘cawing‘ sounds and her delivery of some very ‘Cawny‘ jokes. Chris Nussey was wonderful as Rufus the reindeer, and Old lady Lapp was well played by Janet Koszegi. The dancing of the four Snow Geese was beautifully and gracefully executed by Abigail Hill-Brown, Zoe Hodgson, Lily Speed and Abigail White. A mixture of adults and youngsters made up the thirty-one chorus members playing Danish townsfolk, Spring plants & flowers, 60’s folk and Robbers of the Forest and the many chorus numbers were all enthusiastically sung and danced. I must mention Gran’s Sweet Shop which was a skit played out by using so many different sweet names - it was just brilliant, a lovely Ultraviolet Light scene using fans, streamers and spinning tops and low and behold we were treated to a visit from Glenn Turner, a former football referee, who was instrumental in judging the audience participation ‘sing-a-long’ by the use of VAR - it was just so funny and topical! Costumes, scenery and props, as always, were excellent and together with some some lovely lighting effects all added to make this a truly wonderful, vibrant and funny show. Congratulations to everyone involved.