The Snow Queen Rehearsal Diary – Week 1

Dylan Wood.jpgAs we close in on the debut of this year’s Christmas show, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alumni and Peter O’Toole Prize-winner Dylan Wood will be filling us in on all the latest happenings from The Snow Queen rehearsal room. Here we get our first look at what’s been going on following the company’s first week in our building.


snow queen company.jpg

The Snow Queen Company on day 1

The Snow Queen. This wonderful, Danish tale, written by Hans Christian Andersen has seen its fair share of spectacular adaptations since being published in 1844. It’s been to Hollywood and back and now its coming to Bristol Old Vic where director, Lee Lyford, will guide our company to a magical re-telling of this fairy tale classic – but just exactly how is he going to do that?

It all kicked off with a lovely meet and greet, welcoming us to the theatre and to our fantastic rehearsal room with everyone who’s involved. The stage managers, the set designers, the costume creators, the actors, the musicians, the sound designers, the marketing team and the writer. We all mingled and got to know one another with a cup o’ tea/coffee in one hand and a choccy biccy in the other. We then had a read through of Vivienne Franzmann’s rehearsal draft script where we got to bring her writing to life for the first time. During the read through, Gwyneth Herbert, the writer of all the music/lyrics, performed some of the wacky and wonderful songs she has written for the show so far. We then played loads of games, started to bond, and Lee started crying because he didn’t win, but it was all fun!

Throughout the week we were really studying the script and our characters within it. The majority of us have multiple roles to play as there are loads of characters but only a small cast. Scariest part – as soon as we started talking about the character of the Snow Queen, ‘BOOM’, a book fell from a table on to the keys of the piano creating a horrific sounding cluster chord – let’s just say it felt like she was watching us.

Every now and then, Gwyneth and Faith i Branko (our Balkan folk band) would scoot off to go and tweak a song, coming back with a cracking new tune and ready to have a little sing along. “I like you, I still like you, even though your breath, it smells of panda poo” – a little sneak peek at Kai and Greda’s relationship!

It’s been a fantastic first week and I’m so excited to get back to this magical piece of theatre we are destined to create. In the coming week, we’ll continue working on the first scene, some of which we’ve already got down after just a few days practice with the puppets. Oh yeah, did I not mention that? We’ve got puppets too. Told you it’s going to be magical…. Eeek!


This Christmas we round off the year with our epic adaptation of The Snow Queen. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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