I seem to be spending more time in the theatre than anywhere else lately, not that I’m complaining when the quality of the shows is this high. After being lucky enough to see Once – The Musical last week, I was also treated to tickets to see The Snow Queen at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich on Friday night. I have to be honest and say that the production was seriously lacking, as was the acting.. But it was a funny little show and we found a lot of entertainment in one of the cast who was clearly taking the mickey out of the whole show. We normally go to the pantomime at the Theatre Royal but all the tickets were sold out on this occasion, nevertheless, it was a lovely evening out and nice to spend some festive time with the boyfriend’s family.
It also reminded me of how utterly creepy and terrifying the tale of The Snow Queen truly is. I remember being terrified of it as a child but couldn’t remember why until I saw it brought to life on stage – the combination of hating children, sapping all of sunlight and happiness out of the world and the ghosts of dead children coming up from under the ice brought it all flooding back to me! Not exactly a children’s story eh Hans Christian Anderson?
This production was the first I had seen at this little theatre and I have to say it definitely had the feeling of a school play where the teachers have stepped in because the children had forgotten their lines. I was in no way expecting a full-blown West End spectacular, but I have been to several other smaller theatres which have provided better staging and acting without hamming it up. I understood that it was a family production but I did feel that it became almost ridiculous as the characters ploughed onwards through the snow.
My highlight of the production was most definitely the red-headed chap who played the Prince and then later one of the robbers. I couldn’t tell in parts if he had been drafted late and didn’t really know what he was doing/couldn’t be bothered or was just taking the mickey out of the production – I came to the conclusion later that it was the latter! He was hilarious and was clearly trying to make the other actors laugh and fluff up their lines. Throw in some ridiculous facial expressions and a mock bow towards the end and I was in hysterics.
Perhaps the family aspect of the show was still there, the young kiddies sitting in front of me seemed to really enjoy it, although I think they were struggling to keep interest towards the end. Another highlight of the show was when one of these kiddies turned round and asked his mum very loudly “What’s a fraction?” – as if the show could get any scarier with complicated maths problems!
I’ll be honest and say I probably won’t be hurrying back to the Maddermarket Theatre, the theatre itself was too much like a school hall and I just felt that the whole thing could have been more polished like many of the other amateur productions I have seen, but I wouldn’t be completely pt off seeing another. Has anyone else seen productions at the theatre? What did you think?