Back in 2013, the film Frozen took the world by storm, with kids falling in love with the characters and the catchy singalong songs that feature in the film. But for me, I pretty much avoided watching the film up until about a week ago. Honestly, I was never that interested in seeing it.
So, when I was informed that I’d be reviewing the Frozen the Musical, I knew I’d have to sit down and finally watch the films, and I was underwhelmed when I did. I just wasn’t a fan, didn’t really connect with the film and found it to be a little shallow. So naturally, this left me somewhat sceptical on whether I’d like the musical or not, and I was admittedly slightly dreading the fact I’d have to review it.
But I was so wrong! I actually really loved Frozen the Musical!
Maybe it was the magic of the stage, but I felt so much more invested in the production than I did with the film. The show follows the same general storyline of the Frozen film, with some re-shuffles and tweaks to make it work better for the stage. But it is still jam-packed with all your favourite songs from the films.
I felt Frozen the Musical was also more skewed towards adults, with more grown-up themes and seemingly a lot of humour than the film counterpart, which had the crowd chuckling through the show. I’m extremely thankful that the production team didn’t dumb things down to suit a younger audience, although there’s no doubt that they will certainly still enjoy this show.
The staging for this production was truly phenomenal and incredibly creative. The hand painted backdrops and set pieces are huge in height, giving a real feeling of grandeur to the whole stage. Coupling these set pieces with projection, lighting and mist effects really brings the stage to life and produces a really magical experience. It is stunning how quickly they can make the stage transform into different locations throughout the show. The entire staging and visuals crew have done an incredible job putting this set together.
Then there are the stars of the show, Jemma Rix stars as Elsa, delivering a powerful and moving performance. Rix’s voice is amazing, and she delivers an incredible rendition of the hit song ‘Let it Go’ just before the interval.
But in all honesty, it was Courtney Monsma that stole the show for me. Monsma’s performance as Anna is a rollercoaster of emotion, as we see her struggle through separation from her sister, always being pushed away, to her first love, and the determination to find her sister and save Arendelle from an endless winter. Monsma delivered these emotions with such grace and shared so much energy with the other cast members and their characters. It was truly captivating.
Then there were the tricky characters that in theory are difficult to replicate onstage, Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer. But with the mastery of puppeteering, they bring these characters to life flawlessly, especially with Sven. Underneath the animatronic costume are actors Jonathan Macmillan and Lochie Mcintyre, who share the role as it is extremely physical. But you can hardly tell there is a human underneath, the resulting performance is outstanding, even if a word is never muttered, these two must be commended for their performance, along with Matt Lee as the much-loved Olaf. Lee’s Olaf is incredibly funny and I loved all his jokes and silly moments throughout the show. I applaud the team and the actors who present these characters. It would be a really different show without them.
And finally, I can’t forget the costumes, which are absolutely impeccable! The attention to detail and the consistency of features on the different characters’ costumes through the show is unthinkable. From the townsfolk to Elsa’s sparkling crystal covered dresses, no expense has been spared nor detail overlooked. The level of production on this musical is something I’ve never seen before, and it really helps bring it to a whole different level.
So even if you’re not a Frozen fan, as I was, I implore you to go see this musical. It has converted me! The show is so much fun, it’s full of laughs and emotion. Simply put, it is a spectacle and a must-see! Heck, even if you’re not a musical fan, I think this would be the perfect show to introduce you to the world of musical theatre. But then again, it sets the benchmark high for anything that follows. Get out there and see it, before it’s gone!
Frozen the Musical is playing now in Adelaide at the Festival Theatre until July 24th.
For more information and ticketing, visit: https://frozenthemusical.com.au
Photography by Lisa Tomasetti.