• Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Review: ‘The Snow Queen’ at the Royal Lyceum

man dressed as a unicorn accompanied by two others

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you have any younger siblings or family coming to visit Edinburgh or just want to re-awaken the inner child within you, The Snow Queen is a definitive recommendation. 

This musical is a lighthearted and accessible interpretation of Danish playwright Hans Christian Andersen’s play The Snow Queen. The story focuses on Gerda, a young Edinburgh native, travelling up north to fight the Snow Queen and save her friend Kei. Each scene features a unique adventure that the protagonist must endure and is filled with catchy songs and hilarious quips for both children and adults alike.  

Due to the nature of the musical, the audience at the Royal Lyceum was quite mixed, with many children accompanied by parents making up a large part of the demographic. Writer Morna Young must have known this, as the jokes within the play were able to hit home on both ends of the spectrum, something that certainly served as a huge positive for the musical. 

Another clear credit of the musical was the performances from all of the actors, with the songs being dynamic and very enjoyable. However, the standout performance was that of Richard Conlon, who played Hamish the Unicorn. Conlon’s performance was encapsulating and was able to unify the diverse crowd with laughter. Whenever he appeared on the stage, every member of the audience became slightly more engaged.  

The only downside we can find within this musical is when it takes itself too seriously. For example, when delving into the backstory that leads to Gerda’s journey, you can feel some of the younger members of the audience losing slight interest, and on the whole, it felt like these few moments took away from the rather fast and lighthearted tempo of the musical.

Despite this, we truly believe that David Greig, the artistic director of the musical, was able to successfully produce a production that encapsulates the spirit of Christmas and creates a unique Scottish version of Andersen’s classic story.

Press image “SnowQueen_Lyceum” courtesy of Jess Shurte. (L-R) Samuel Pashby as Corby, Richard Conlon as Hamish the Unicorn and Rosie Graham as Gerda. Costumes and set design by Emily James.