Popular Disney animation Frozen has made its way to the London stage, debuting as a West End musical on Wednesday in a theatre recently refurbished by musician Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Since its 2013 debut, the Oscar-winning picture about royal sisters Anna and Elsa in the fictitious realm of Arendelle has earned millions of young fans all around the world. In 2018, a theatrical adaption premiered on Broadway.
London now has its own production of the musical, featuring British actress Samantha Barks as Elsa and Dublin-born performer Stephanie McKeon as Anna.
McKeon told Reuters that she was hesitant at first about taking on the well-known part, but she quickly recognized the benefits of the theatrical rendition of the role.
“The great thing about the stage version is that we’re humans, not animated characters, and we can bring a little more of ourselves to the roles,” McKeon said, adding that she was honored to play Anna.
Barks praised Elsa for not being a stereotypical Disney princess and for the sisters being the musical’s true love narrative.
“I hope it makes people feel like they’re on top of the world. “We’ve been shut away and secluded for so long,” Barks explained. “I just hope they feel like they can identify with these characters.
“Tell the guards to unlock the gates, and I hope they enjoy accompanying us on our journey.”
The show’s villain, played by actor Oliver Ormson, said he hoped viewers would leave hugging their loved ones a bit closer.
The musical, which began screenings in late August, is being performed at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which opened recently following a two-year, 60 million pound ($82.51 million) refurbishment.
Lloyd Webber, a West End veteran famed for musicals such as Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera, purchased the theatre in 2019.