The Snow Queen | Gabbering with ‘Gerda’

Winter is just around the corner and, while our Snow Queen company are buried deep in rehearsals, we managed to grab a moment with one of our show’s two best friends to find out a little more of what’s to come.


gerdaTell us a little bit about yourself and who you’re playing in the show.
Hello there! I’m Emily Burnett and I’m playing Gerda. I grew up in Cardiff, although a London girl originally, and I’m very very much looking forward to spending the Christmas period at Bristol Old Vic. It’s my first time working in Bristol so it’s really lovely exploring a new city and getting to meet a lot of new fabulous human beings. My family were particularly excited to hear I was working so close to home, for once, and that I get to be a part of the epic tale that is The Snow Queen. I’m uber excited. It’s really a massive honour to be working in such a beautiful and renowned theatre with such an incredible bunch of people.

How would you say you’re approaching this version of the character?
Well, Vivienne Franzmann wrote such a rich and exciting character in this new adaptation of The Snow Queen. I think I walked into the process thinking that Gerda’s journey from start to finish was relatively simple for me to work with but, as usual, the minute we got into the rehearsal room I realised very quickly there was so so much more to consider with her. She wasn’t as straight forward as I thought.
Her relationship with Kai (played by the gorgeous Steven Roberts) was the first focus I think. Gerda completely adores who he is, his sense of adventure, bravery and boldness. Gerda needs him because naturally she’s none of these things naturally. She’s scared and unsure of who she is and what she believes in… Cue a massive journey of self-discovery, bravery, madness and adventure.
I think the biggest part of my approach to this character was capturing that journey of self-discovery in the most authentic way. The determination she has to save her best friend is admirable and brave but, beyond that, her ultimate discovery of acceptance and self is what makes this character so special to me. It’s something we all go through in life at some point – realising that the world is so much bigger than just yourself.

What can the audience expect from the world of The Snow Queen?
EVERYTHING! The world of The Snow Queen above all is magical and inspiring. The way our Director, Lee, has worked to make this show incredibly fun, magical and visually epic, whilst also making it real, emotional and relevant is astonishing. We are all looking forward to taking you on this epic journey with us and introducing you to some of the most incredible characters along the way. We’ve got a magical Flower Witch played by the brilliant Miltos, a troublesome goblin duo played by the hilarious Joanna and Dylan, a wacky Robber Girl played by lovely Jess and our enriching Queen of the Sun played by the incredible Zara. That’s without even mentioning the music created by the phenomenal Gwyneth Herbert which is played by Faith i Branko. The musical world they have created and the journey they take you on with it is just spectacular. I personally think Gwyneth is just a complete genius! Then we have our great design team led by Tom Rogers. Everyone has put so much love into this production and I have no doubt you’ll be able to feel that when watching the show.

The Snow Queen - Rehearsals - Bristol Old Vic - Photo by Mark Douet _80A2916.jpg

Is there a particular aspect you’re most excited about?
Can I answer EVERYTHING again!? I’m not particularly excited about anything specific, because everyday for me is exciting. I wake up every day excited to go to work and I really try to treasure the whole thing; the process, the people, and finally the show we are creating together. It’s all going by so quickly so I try to stay excited all the time. I’m really looking forward to having people experience the show. I always say, I don’t care if they love it or hate it, just as long as they aren’t indifferent. If we make you feel something, or walk out of the theatre changed in some way, we have done our job right.

What’s been the most entertaining moment from the rehearsal room so far?
Oh gosh, there has been so many great moments I’ve lost count. Every day I’m laughing in hysterics about something. The other day, we were going through a scene that had a particularly funny moment in it and we all just lost the plot in the room. Joanna had us all laughing uncontrollably and she had Steven, Zara and I in actual tears. But also, it’s every time we finish blocking and learning a new song. When you hear it and see it all come together, the feeling is just phenomenal.

If you were a goblin after the juiciest heart, which company member would you go for?
All of them. I’m greedy like that. It’s such a joy working with these great people. We’ve become like a family. It’s like asking me which family member I would save in a fire. They are all beautiful human beings.


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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