Fabulous Snow Queen warms the hearts

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The main protagonist may be icy cold but audiences lucky enough to see Burnley Pantomime Society's latest production "The Snow Queen" will certainly leave with a warm feeling in their hearts.

The popular, long-running troupe, are back on stage at the Burnley Mechanics Theatre with their fabulous re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen's famous Scandinavian fairytale.

A large cast, of young and old, assemble for a rollicking tale of good versus evil complete with traditional panto staples - a saucy Dame, cheeky laughs and eye-catching dance routines.

The cast is topped by young lovers Gerda and Kai, played affectionately by Laura Kay and Gary Leonard. Laura's upbeat, smiles-for-all performance captures the hearts as she embarks on a quest to save Kai from the clutches of the evil Snow Queen played with cool aplomb by Leanne Bradshaw.

Gerda and Sunbeam

Gerda and Sunbeam

Leanne possesses a powerful singing voice alongside her acting talent, and is complemented in the vocal department by Louise Young, Kayleigh Scott and Becky Wright as colourful characters Snowdrop, Blossom and Sunbeam.

Special mention, although not necessarily for his singing, must go to 'Dame' Kevin Kay, who plays Grannie Annie, a role that garners most of the laughs from the audience. Not far behind in the joke department, in the 'Buttons' type role of Helmut, is Jonathan Pye, whose boundless energy never stops.

Although the tale dates from 1844, this Burnley production manages to keep it fresh and up-to-date while still maintaining a nod to the past.

That is done through Martin Chadwick, playing the man himself Hans Christian Andersen in a clever move which sees him act as narrator for the proceedings.

Helmut and Grannie Annie

Helmut and Grannie Annie

The modern twist comes in the form of plenty of modern pop music, and in a first for the society, electronic backdrops, which add dazzling colour and magical scenes to the panto.

Pete Morville, Jamie Leigh Hindman, Leighton Hunt, Indie Hindman, Daniel Bradley, Hannah Rigby and dance choreographer Lynn McCheyne complete an impressive ensemble cast, which also included many young dancers in the chorus.

Special mention must also be made to director and loyal society servant Neil Tranmer, taking a break from acting duties this year, to guide those on stage, as well as an army of backstage staff creating the colourful costumes and everything all that has added up to make The Snow Queen a must watch.

Neil is assisted in directing duties by Angela Foulds, and musical director Jonathan Chalker. The script was written by Alan Frayn.

The Snow Queen and Kai

The Snow Queen and Kai

The show runs at the Burnley Mechanics until January 21st with just a few tickets remaining for Thursday and Saturday evening only.

For further details call the box office on 01282 664400 or visit www.burnleymechanics.co.uk.