The Snow Queen (3 stars)

The Snow Queen

Arches, Glasgow, until Sun 4 Jan


Playing to an audience of primary school kids, each clutching a bag of sweets, the cast of this Arches Christmas show were always going to struggle for attention, and the din of rustling throughout confirms this suspicion. But writer Megan Barker and director Al Seed probably haven’t done themselves any favours either by adapting Hans Christian Anderson’s famous snowy fairytale into a sort of garbled mini-panto, rather than something more subtle and enchanting that might have held its young audience’s concentration for a tad longer.

Still, it’s an entertaining 50 minutes thanks to some sprightly, joyful performances, as natty-of-wellies youngster Gerda (Charlene Boyd) adventures her way to the rescue of bestest pal Kay (Joe Arkley), who’s been abducted by the eponymous wintry sovereign. Brian Conaghan scores the two best roles, as the bulbous, gassy troll, and the oversized frog, which – when given a kiss (and kisses solve a lot of things in this story) – turns into a prince so vain and smug that were he sugar-coated, he would probably join the masticating youngsters in the crowd and sit and eat himself.

The Snow Queen

The Arches continue their festive tradition of adapting classic children's stories for very young children. This year, Hans Christian Andersen's frosty monarch is brought to life with puppetry, live performance and music, Al Seed directs.

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