The Snow Queen review – whirl through Scarborough’s winter wonderland

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Polly Lister plays umpteen parts in this spirited Hans Christian Andersen adaptation filmed at Stephen Joseph theatre

A couple of Christmases ago, in Theresa Heskins’ production of The Worst Witch, Polly Lister doubled the roles of headteacher Miss Cackle and her villainous twin Agatha. In the most giddily enjoyable scene, she wore both outfits at once and switched between the parts at lightning speed as the sisters battled it out.

At Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph theatre, Lister goes several steps further in The Snow Queen, Nick Lane’s new adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. With the sort of sugar rush you get from wolfing several days’ worth of a chocolate advent calendar, Lister juggles the roles of another pair of good and bad sisters, the Sun Sorceress and the Snow Queen. But she also plays best friends Gerda and Kai; a cigar-chewing granny who flirts with the audience like a panto dame; a scooter-riding reindeer; and a raven who specialises in scatological verse. Fancy hearing a bit of “pooetry”? You’re in luck: Black Drop envisions a vista of bird droppings falling from the sky like snow.

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