Most theatres in the West End have been closed for up to 18 months but not the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The trendsetters that they are closed a full 14 months before everyone else in January 2019 for a planned refurbishment ahead of reopening with the massive Frozen. The pandemic meant they were closed a lot longer than expected but tonight, for the first time in forever (Well, 2 and a half years) it was time to open up the gates as Disney's recent global sensation arrived to melt our frozen hearts.
As with my other 1st night posts this will be a picture heavy look at the theatre, the stage and the curtain call with little bits of information about the show. If you're waiting for my actual review, you'll have to come back on September 8th for that one!
Frozen well and truly took over Drury Lane with even the street outside blocked off with signage to allow the nearly 2000 strong audience to get in without completely taking over the West End.
One fantastic note is that the cast and creatives are on display OUTSIDE the theatre rather than inside. A great touch if you're passing by and notice your fave alternate/understudy is on.
The theatre has had a major refurbishment and is breathtakingly beautiful. Luxurious and grand even before you're in the theatre, it's worth getting there early to explore the hidden secrets in its decor.
This is a Disney musical so you just know the merchandise is going to be plentiful and amazing. The store has its own part of the building with a separate entrance so you can even shop there if you're not seeing the show. Prices are slightly more reasonable than a certain other beautiful touring Disney show. No £40 t-shirts in sight!
Programmes are £6. Souvenir brochures will arrive after press night in 2 weeks and the tote bag pictured above is half price with any purchase so £6 rather than £12.
Walking in to the theatre you are greeted by a beautiful curtain moving with the Northern lights.
The proscenium is actually filled with Disney easter eggs including an obligatory Mickey.
There are actually much more images hidden around the stage - see if you can spot them all when you attend:
On to the show itself. I'll write a proper review in a couple of weeks but if you are going, you are in for a treat. Whether you love the film or not, this is a phenomenal musical that stands on its own. Sometimes I feel Disney musicals don't always translate well on the stage but thankfully this doesn't have that problem. 'Let It Go' is one of the most iconic sequences in any Disney movie and the way it is faithfully recreated on stage is pure theatre magic and gives you one of the most memorable theatre moments you will ever experience.
This is not a one song show though. Some new songs were written for the musical on Broadway - 'Monster' being one of them. An absolute showstopper of a song, performed excellently. For this run, a new song has been included that wasn't in the original Broadway production in the shape of 'I Can't Lose You'. Some other new moments include an amazing and hilarious Frozen 2 reference which I will not spoil for anyone.
The cast in this are exceptional. Samantha Barks is note-perfect as Elsa, commanding that stage with every bit of her strength. Stephanie McKeon as Anna is a brilliant counterpart with literally every person on that stage giving it their all - and not a gimmick in sight! Here are some pictures from the curtain call:
What really sets this show apart is its fantastic staging - with one of the most gorgeous set designs you will see during a certain iconic number. For a more in depth review, check back on September 8th where I will try to talk more coherently about how ridiculously flawless this production really is.
I saw Frozen on Broadway in 2018 and while I definitely enjoyed it, it was nowhere near as incredible as the West End production is. Whether it's the cast, the staging or the absence of theatre over the last 18 months, this really is special and one of those shows that miraculously lives up to the hype.
There was one more surprise in store for the audience as they left as their own personal flurry awaited them. A genius touch that ensured the wonder stayed with the audience even after the show had finished.
The theatre really comes alive at night with beautiful lights making it even more gorgeous than it already is:
If you have got tickets to see Frozen, get ready to be blown away.
If the thought of seeing this show never bothered you anyway, silence the monster inside you and get booking.
Frozen is currently booking until June 2022 but let's be honest, Theatre Royal Drury Lane will not be able to let it go - expect this to run for years to come.
Tickets from https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/frozen-musical/