The Snow Queen
Lyceum Christmas production as bold and bumptious as any panto
Dear festive theatre-goer, don’t let yourself be misled this Christmas. (And no, we don’t mean about Father Christmas.) Don’t be taken in by the sleek, icy blue publicity for this year’s Lyceum Christmas production – for this show is as bold and bumptious as many a panto worth its salt.
In the venerable tradition of the baddies getting the best lines, Cobweb the spider, the Snow Queen’s nasty-piece-of-work sidekick, is easily the most appealing character for young and old alike, leaving the goodies looking rather tedious by comparison, and certainly not worthy of our identification. Having eschewed the dark and sinister side of the fairytale in favour of a flirtation with farce, it sometimes feels like this show is treading a rather unsteady line between pantomime and theatre – with the best bits undoubtedly when it embraces the silliness, as with the antics of the three daft robbers and their formidable mistress.
The stunning sets deserve mention for their size, beauty and number, and the humour and scariness levels are well-pitched for a young audience. Overall, the magic is still there – aided greatly by the gift of an early blanket of snow beyond the auditorium walls.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, until Fri 31 Dec