Disney’s Frozen the musical West End opened last night at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Another animated Disney blockbuster comes to the stage starring Samantha Barks and Stephanie McKeon and is directed by Michael Grandage.
It hasn’t been too long since the hoardings came down from around the Theatre Royal Drury Lane which has just received a major restoration and renovation just in time for Disney’s Frozen the musical West End which has now officially opened.
So after all the hype and built up What did the critics make of Frozen the musical London.
The musical version of ‘Frozen’ is an awesome spectacle with more heart, depth and darkness than the film
This isn’t ‘Frozen’ for adults, a dark new take on ‘Frozen’, or a radical reinvention by spectacle like ‘The Lion King’. But it’s a thoughtful, attractive and human spin that manages to balance a Drury Lane-size spectacle with recognising what audiences want from ‘Frozen’, and subtly bringing it a little closer to ‘The Snow Queen’. If the film is a pre-school classic, the musical is maybe a couple of years more grown-up. But its most magical moments will wow every age group.
There are cute kids, knockout songs, whizzes, bangs, an inspiring tale of sorority and a loveable sidekick snowman. Buttressed by Barks and McKeon, whose voices are divine alone and heavenly together, Frozen, despite its structural flaws, eventually manages to thaw even the iciest of hearts.
The Venue puts the show in the shade
The romance of the place, from the jaw-dropping vistas on arrival to the opulence of the re-configured auditorium, builds incredible audience excitement. But while the ambience is faultless, that finesse points up how cursory Frozen sometimes feels. The venue is a sensation; the show, despite flurries of potency and a brace of songs you go in humming, is serviceable. Beside Disney’s theatrical masterstroke, The Lion King, it looks a lot like a poor relation.
The new London production that’s bigger and better than Broadway
Diehard fans of the cartoon will be in heaven as everything they know and love is recreated before their eyes, but the show also delights in surprising audiences, nowhere more than in the bonkers Act 2 opening number Hygge, set in a Scandi sauna.
This long-awaited West End stage version feels lukewarm.
Fans of the hit 2013 Disney film will doubtless love it, but this musical stage adaptation of Frozen left me cold. On the plus side, it’s full of dazzle and wit, with powerhouse central performances by sharp-edged Samantha Barks and winningly goofy Stephanie McKeon as sisters Elsa and Anna. Puppet snowman Olaf – operated and voiced by Craig Gallivan – is a joy, and the refurbished Drury Lane looks ravishing.