In “Weegietown”, Christmas is threatened. If the “magic mirror” is broken, it will disappear forever. But never fear! In a quest to rescue the festive season and the “pantosphere”, Santa Kristine and her entourage are fighting their way to deliver Rudolph the Reindeer from the evil grips of the Snaw Queen and thereby to save Christmas.
Johnny McKnight’s production follows Hans Christian Andersen’s original fable only in the very loosest sense. It takes all the traditional slapstick comedy, dancing and cross-dressing, combines it with outrageous humour, local anecdotes and colloquialisms, and tops it with a kitsch, glitter-filled set which exudes festive energy.
The audience are included from the outset by actors obviously enjoying the interaction. Watching Johnny McKnight’s female Santa Claus disco parody is irresistible and the Queen, played by Darren Brownlie, regularly brings back the fairy-tale tone.
While The Snaw Queen displays many witty references to popular culture (a Glasgow subway scene comes as a surreal surprise), one might perhaps have expected more up-to-date political references, as the current times are rich in material for comedy exploitation. Moreover, as the show unravels like a loose cannon and pleasantly sparkles in all directions, too many disconnected digressions interrupt the flow of the story, risking losing the audience at times. It might have been beneficial to shorten the production a little from its two hours and thirty minutes running time.
However, if you are ready to let go any resistance, the Snaw Queen is an easily enjoyable festive experience. And we all deserve a good laugh and a cathartic end-of-year clear-out.