Following its 2020 online festive show, Humbug and 2021 Christmas show, Not So Ugly Sisters, Wrongsemble Theatre Company return to Waterside, Sale with a musical re-imagining of Snow Queen. Writer and director, Elvi Piper tells us about staging a children’s classic with a modern twist.
It is great to have Wrongsemble Theatre Company back at Waterside. What is special for you about the venue?
Elvi: “We love coming to Waterside Arts. The venue and staff go all out, and the audiences are so friendly and welcoming; everyone really gets into the festive spirit – which makes our job a joy! We’re thrilled to be back in Sale to entertain local family and schools’ audiences again this year”.
What ages is the show aimed at?
Elvi: “The show is suitable for the whole family, with some elements best enjoyed by those aged 4+. But we’re confident anyone aged 0-100 will find something they love about their trip to see this show at Waterside Arts”.
How does the show’s production mirror the message of sustainability?
Elvi: “The cast even live and travel together for the duration of the run. This is the show’s third outing in three years, we’ve been able to store the set and costumes with support from another theatre company meaning we’ve been able to bring it back three times without throwing it all away and making something completely new each time. Theatre can be a wasteful business – and we’re really trying to challenge that!”
What part does music play in the production?
Elvi: “The show has a lively original soundtrack performed live by the cast of three actor-musicians. Each character you meet has a song, and each song has its own style of music – from cabaret to calypso, and a sprinkling of Christmas songs too! The talented company sing, dance and play instruments live almost non-stop in this production”.
Why did you choose to make The Snow Queen a drag queen?
Elvi: “We wanted to make the character of the Snow Queen (Madge) a non-binary drag queen as we thought it was a wonderful way to bring a new version of this famous character to life. In recent years drag has become a hugely mainstream and popular artform delighting all ages – and Madge does exactly that in our show. As a company we also want to represent the diversity of the world we live in, and this festive season our company represents diversity and inclusion in its many forms. Everyone is welcome at a Wrongsemble show, both on and off stage”.
How important is it to you that children feel empowered from seeing the show?
Elvi: “We hope every child leaves feeling empowered, entertained and questioning the world around them like our heroine Lumi. We are here to give our youngest audience members inspirational and exciting experiences that transcend their time watching the show, and hopefully stay with them long after the curtain falls”.
The Snow Queen is at Waterside, Sale from 29 November to 30 December 2023.