I am always excited to see a Hijinx production as they always raise their game with every show. Meet Fred is just one example of comedic brilliance and a real heartfelt story that I have seen twice and already contemplating a 3rd time in January at Chapter Arts Centre.
Having never seen any adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, I had no preconceived thoughts of how the story was going to be told. We were invited on the journey of Kai and Gerda to the new circus that had rolled up in town and followed the precarious path to the snow queen and what she had in store for Kai as her chosen one. Gerda encounters many strange and wonderful circus acts along the way whose spirits have been dampened since the snow queen turned the joyous circus into a dark magic place for her to control.
There were some great stand out moments from the cast in particular Victor and Johnny played by Danny Mannings and Denise Gallop respectively, as the dynamic duo who had the audience in stitches with their interaction. I loved the characterisation of Gerda played by Sara Pickard who fully embodied and inhabited the character in voice, movement and actions.
The moral of the story through it’s narrative came through strong and resonated particularly well especially at this time of year when being compassionate and having a heart is what the season of goodwill is for. As we know, this time of year can be very difficult for some who struggle to cope with the feelings that Christmas can bring.
When Gerda was told that in order to face her fears and biggest obstacles it was a mind over matter approach she needed, in that moment, I was reminded of the great obstacles overcome and achievements won by Hijinx company in creating inclusive, diverse and challenging theatre. The definition of mind over matter is ’the use of willpower to overcome physical limitations’ and that is exactly what Hijinx create in every show they produce. I believe that we are really blessed to see this company grow in Wales and internationally securing great partnerships across the globe.
The enchanting and entrancing story of The Snow Queen created a magical piece of theatre with a message relevant for all year round. A family fun evening out enjoyed by both adults and children alike it will touch your hearts and stay in your minds hopefully long after the Christmas season.
Odyssey is Hijinx’s community theatre group. This new adaptation by Llinos Mai of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale features a cast of disabled and non-disabled performers from Odyssey, pupils from Woodlands High School.