What a great performance! It was our first time to the Unicorn Theatre, which is on Tooley Street near London Bridge, and we were in for a great treat. 8yo and I headed out in the rain after school and took the train to London Bridge. We made good time and we had a whizz around Hays Galleria on our way down Tooley street. It got us in the festive spirit as the decorations are gorgeous and worth a visit in themselves.
We arrived at the Unicorn and had a drink at the bar before heading to our seats. If you haven’t been to this theatre before it’s worth pointing out that its not like any traditional theatre. The seats are in a semi circle and more like padded benches in the style of an amphitheatre. The seats are comfortable and well graduated so that even the youngest child can see what’s going on. There is no raised stage and so there isn’t a big distinction between the audience and the actors.
This adaption of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen is set in India. This was great timing for 8yo as she has been studying India at school this term and they have been trying out Indian dancing, learning how to wear a sari and eating Indian food. If you know the story and the characters, Gerda is now Gowri and she goes on an amazing journey through India to the Queendom of ice and snow in the Himalayas to track down and save her best friend who is trapped in the Ice Palace.
We loved the brilliant characters from the best friends, Gowri and Kumar, to the bandits and the three-headed Tridev and of course the Snow Queen herself. They were funny and clever and endearing. You really did care that Gowri rescued Kumar and softened the Queen’s heart.
I think 8yo loved the Bollywood scene and who wouldn’t? The scene was packed with fine clothes, shades and tons of attitude but my favourite scene was when Gowri arrived at Mumbai and we were transported from the sea to the hustle and bustle of this great city. It was a place where music mixed with the calls of the street sellers and cyclists raced by while the finest materials were shown off. It was a magical mix and brilliantly executed.
It was a wonderful introduction to the Unicorn theatre and I’m looking forward to many more outings. In the meantime if you have children it is a great introduction to the theatre but it will appeal to all ages as it is such a great story.
For more information you can visit the Unicorn Theatre website at www.unicorntheatre.com or call the Box Office on 020 7645 0560.
The Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ
The nearest station is London Bridge.