Lloyd Evans Lloyd Evans

Sexist, classist and pro-global warming: Frozen, at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, reviewed

Plus: a glorious comedy at the Hampstead Theatre that carries delicious echoes of Joe Orton and Carla Lane

Samantha Barks (Elsa) combines the regal elegance of Grace Kelly with the full-blooded sexiness of Marilyn Monroe. Photo: Johan Persson © Disney

Frozen the musical declares war on woke politics. The 2013 Disney movie has been turned into a song-and-dance show that openly celebrates sexism, classism and misogyny. Plus, it salutes the joys of global warming. It’s set in a Scandinavian realm ruled by a kindly monarch who lives in a castle attended by fawning servants. No sign of social mobility here. An impetuous young princess, Anna, falls in love with an eligible duke, Hans, but their betrothal annoys Anna’s sister, Princess Elsa. This is dangerous because Elsa has magical powers that she can’t control. She accidentally casts a spell on Anna, who falls to the ground with a terrible illness.

Things get worse when a cold snap arrives from the north and plunges the entire kingdom into a new ice age. Elsa and her random magic spells are held responsible. The menfolk react by locking her up in the castle and forcing her to wear special gloves that neutralise her sorcery. The message is clear — powerful women are dangerous and need to be caged. Anna awakens from a coma and sets off on a trek through the wilderness where she befriends a comic snowman, an amiable tree surgeon and a melancholy reindeer.

How curious to watch the ten-year-olds in princess dresses applauding the show’s sexist storylines

The plot takes a swerve at this point and Anna learns that the ice age will end if she exchanges a kiss with her ‘true love’. But who could that be? Hans, the dashing prince? Or Kristoff, the nice but drippy tree surgeon? Or someone else entirely? The answer, when it comes, is superbly disguised, and the final embrace is a miracle of circus wizardry.

The show’s design and the visual effects are so dazzling that the crowd erupt into spontaneous cheers throughout.

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