Snow Queen pays an icy visit to York

Acclaimed children’s theatre company tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal team up again to present Mike Kenny’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s highly acclaimed story Snow Queen. The production can be seen in the Studio at York Theatre Royal from 27 September to 13 October and then tours the UK until December, followed by a week at the Bush Theatre in London and a Christmas season at The Point, Eastleigh.

Director Wendy Harris said: “It’s the perfect story to tell for an autumn and winter tour. The story goes through the seasons so we enjoy summer roses and the icy snow queen’s palace.

“With two central protagonists as children, both girls and boys get something from the story because although it’s called Snow Queen, it’s really about Kai and Gerda and their friendship. It’s lovely for the girl to be the one who rescues the boy – for a change!”

Writer Mike Kenny said: “Hans Christian Andersen was probably the first proper genius storyteller for children. It’s 200 years since he was writing but we still tell The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea and The Emperor’s New Clothes. They have entered the culture.

“I have worked with tutti frutti on a lot of plays over the years but maybe nothing quite this epic. At the heart of the story is a friendship. There’s something very moving about the boy who is so hurt that he closes off his feelings, and the girl who sets out to find him and through sheer force of will, melts that frozen heart. They both grow in the process.”

The story tells of Kai and Gerda who have been friends for as long as they could remember. One day, in a whirl of magic and deception, Kai is pulled under the spell of the powerful Snow Queen of ice and coldness. The action follows Gerda’s quest to save her friend and return life to normal. Her winter journey is about loyalty, loss and love and the dangers of the unknown.

Composer Ivan Stott, who worked with tutti frutti on Underneath a Magic Moon, returns to the company to create memorable music and songs for Snow Queen.

In the cast are Joanne Sandi, Hannah Victoria and Mitchel Wolfe – all three making their debuts with tutti frutti.

Joanne (Queen, Robber Girl, Elsie) trained as a dancer at the North London Dance School and began her career as a backing dancer on MTV Base and T4. She danced in various shows as appeared as a dancer in the movie Mamma Mia.  Stage work at Stratford East Theatre Royal includes Da Boyz, Mad Blud, Home Theatre and last year she played the title role in the pantomime Rapunzel. She appeared in an advert alongside Tina Turner and then played in Soul Sister, a musical based on Tina’s life story, in the West End and on tour.

Hannah (Gerda) has recently studied at Edge Hill University graduating with a BA Hons in Musical Theatre. She has been singing, acting and dancing from a young age and roles she has played include Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act and Crystal Gordon in Bad Girls: The Musical.

Mitchel (Kai, Robber Woman, Reindeer) is making his professional debut in Snow Queen. He recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Acting from ALRA North and also trained in Musical Theatre at Jill Clewes Academy for Theatre Arts. Productions while training included The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Iphigenia.

Press quotes about tutti frutti …

“Those looking for a magical and thought-provoking early experience of the wonder and power of theatre should treat themselves to tutti frutti” – British Theatre Guide

“Leeds-based tutti frutti has a reputation as one of the most inspired ensembles specialising in work for very young children” – The Guardian

…and past productions

“As an introduction to theatre it can’t be bettered. It’s beautifully paced, performed with a sincerity that doesn’t patronise” – Yorkshire Post about The Boy Who Cried Wolf

“A beautifully crafted piece” – Lyn Gardner, Guardian about Hare and Tortoise

“This is magical, musical, moonlit theatre” – York Press about Underneath a Magic Moon

“This fun-packed, interactive production gives a much-loved story a reality check” – The Stage about The Princess and the Pea

“I have worked with tutti frutti on a lot of plays over the years but maybe nothing quite this epic. At the heart of the story is a friendship. There’s something very moving about the boy who is so hurt that he closes off his feelings, and the girl who sets out to find him and through sheer force of will, melts that frozen heart. They both grow in the process.”

The story tells of Kai and Gerda who have been friends for as long as they could remember. One day, in a whirl of magic and deception, Kai is pulled under the spell of the powerful Snow Queen of ice and coldness. The action follows Gerda’s quest to save her friend and return life to normal. Her winter journey is about loyalty, loss and love and the dangers of the unknown.

Composer Ivan Stott, who worked with tutti frutti on Underneath a Magic Moon, returns to the company to create memorable music and songs for Snow Queen.

In the cast are Joanne Sandi, Hannah Victoria and Mitchel Wolfe – all three making their debuts with tutti frutti.

Joanne (Queen, Robber Girl, Elsie) trained as a dancer at the North London Dance School and began her career as a backing dancer on MTV Base and T4. She danced in various shows as appeared as a dancer in the movie Mamma Mia.  Stage work at Stratford East Theatre Royal includes Da Boyz, Mad Blud, Home Theatre and last year she played the title role in the pantomime Rapunzel. She appeared in an advert alongside Tina Turner and then played in Soul Sister, a musical based on Tina’s life story, in the West End and on tour.

Hannah (Gerda) has recently studied at Edge Hill University graduating with a BA Hons in Musical Theatre. She has been singing, acting and dancing from a young age and roles she has played include Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act and Crystal Gordon in Bad Girls: The Musical.

Mitchel (Kai, Robber Woman, Reindeer) is making his professional debut in Snow Queen. He recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Acting from ALRA North and also trained in Musical Theatre at Jill Clewes Academy for Theatre Arts. Productions while training included The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Iphigenia.

Press quotes about tutti frutti …

“Those looking for a magical and thought-provoking early experience of the wonder and power of theatre should treat themselves to tutti frutti” – British Theatre Guide

“Leeds-based tutti frutti has a reputation as one of the most inspired ensembles specialising in work for very young children” – The Guardian

…and past productions

“As an introduction to theatre it can’t be bettered. It’s beautifully paced, performed with a sincerity that doesn’t patronise” – Yorkshire Post about The Boy Who Cried Wolf

“A beautifully crafted piece” – Lyn Gardner, Guardian about Hare and Tortoise

“This is magical, musical, moonlit theatre” – York Press about Underneath a Magic Moon

“This fun-packed, interactive production gives a much-loved story a reality check” – The Stage about The Princess and the Pea