Frozen the Musical Review

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9th March, 2023 | By Isabel Williams

Frozen the Musical review is out now!

It’s been ten years since the Disney animated movie Frozen took the world by (magical winter) storm, but “Frozen fever” remains alive and well at the Theatre Royal, where legions of schoolchildren in polyester princess dresses make up the crowd. I had almost as much fun listening to their excited squeals, their breathy renditions of “Let It Go” during the interval, as I did while watching the spectacle onstage. Not that much could compete for my attention when the curtain rose: lavishly designed and brimming with Disney magic, Frozen: The Musical is a powerhouse production with a warm and fuzzy centre. 

The story wisely stays faithful to its source material. Tasked with saving her kingdom from a freak winter storm, Princess Anna of Arendelle must journey to the ice castle of her magical sister Elsa, accompanied by the hunky Kristoff, Kristoff’s reindeer Sven, and Olaf the huggable snowman. Anna’s smarmy fiancée Prince Hans is here too, as are Kristoff’s adoptive family of rock trolls, reimagined as the mysterious “hidden folk” of Scandinavian lore.  

The acting is over-the-top, which mostly suits the production’s scale and dynamism. Emily Lane is loveably goofy as Anna, and her duet with Hans (Oliver Ormson), “Love Is An Open Door,” has a clownish spirit that kept the audience in stitches. Samantha Barks has less to work with as Elsa – she spends most of the show fretting downstage – but her voice and queenly presence carry her through, and her version of “Let It Go” is bombastic. Kristoff (Djavan van de Fliert) is generic but inoffensive, and Craig Gallivan, who operates the Olaf puppet, does a wonderful rendition of the comedic number “Summer,” replete with a straw boater and a giant hanging picture postcard. 

Frozen the Musical Review: Music - The Hit Disney Soundtrack and More!

Anna and Hans in Frozen the Musical

Can there be a Frozen the Musical review without talking about the legendary soundtrack? New additions to the soundtrack are composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the dynamic duo behind the original film soundtrack. Elsa gets two extra numbers, “Dangerous” and “Monster,” which attempt to flesh out some of her inner turmoil.

Among the new additions, the most beloved numbers were Anna and Kristoff’s duet, “What Do You Know About Love,” sung from atop a frozen bridge that unspools impressively from the wings, and the completely unexpected “Hygge,” a raunchy vaudeville number led by the Norwegian shop owner Wandering Oaken, in which ensemble members fan-kick in sauna towels and fig leaves (all G-rated, of course). 

Frozen the Musical Review: Costumes & Staging - Breathtaking & Beautiful!

Elsa in Frozen the Musical

The real showstoppers here are the set and costume design, both by Christopher Oram. The set combines massive moveable pieces, digital backdrops rippling with Northern Lights, and innovative projections that bring Elsa’s magic powers to life. Particularly striking are the palace balcony set for “Love Is An Open Door,” in which colorful paper lanterns and purple wisteria dripped from the eaves, and Elsa’s ice castle in “Let It Go.” Just before the final chorus, a nifty melting effect reveals the entrance hall with its sweeping staircase, intricate columns, and thousands of twinkling lights, while Elsa’s magic arcs and swirls around the stage in time with her movements. Quite simply, it took my breath away. 

The costumes are vividly detailed and film-accurate, and the joy is in their movement: the swishing of full skirts during the coronation dance (choreographed by Rob Ashford), the way Elsa’s dresses twist and slink around her when she struts. The famous blue gown that Elsa creates at the end of “Let It Go” is ingeniously revealed during a split-second costume change that elicited gasps from young and old alike. It’s just as sparkly as the surrounding set, catching the light beautifully as she works magic with her hands. 

Frozen the Musical Review: Final Verdict

Cast of Frozen the Musical
About the Author

Isabel Williams
I first fell in love with the theatre during a preschool production of Caps For Sale, in which I treasured my single lineSince then, I’ve discovered an even greater love: writing about the productions that challenge me, surprise me, and bring me the utmost joy, in the hopes that others will seek out theatre with the power to enrich their lives and inspire wonder.