Young theatregoers decked out in Elsa dresses and Olaf costumes have been flocking to London’s West End to see Disney’s Frozenthe Musical for years – but that will all end when the show closes later this year.
On Monday (22 January), Disney Theatrical Group announced that the stage adaptation of the wintery hit film was being extended for the last time.
The show, which has been running at the 2000-seater Theatre Royal Drury Lane since the summer of 2021, will close its doors on 8 September.
Its closure is a shock to the theatre industry since the show received high acclaim from critics, and, of course, rave reviews from its younger audience members who wanted to get a slice of live action from the much-loved Disney film.
Not only has Frozen the Musical been a huge hit, but it also innovated performance start times among West End theatres by introducing its bedtime-friendly 5.30pm start time to accommodate its younger audiences.
Michael Grandage’s production, which has starred Samantha Barks throughout its run, pays homage to the culturally pervasive jokes and songs from the original 2013 film, such as the earworm tracks “Let It Go”, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Love is an Open Door”.
Frozen opened its doors after a months-long delay due to Covid restrictions. Grandage said in a statement that Frozen was a delight for audiences who were being welcomed back into theatres for the first time following the pandemic.
“Frozen opened in the UK on the heels of the pandemic, and it was glorious to welcome back audiences, many of whom were coming to the theatre for the first time. To introduce so many to the power of theatre and hopefully cultivate a lifelong love for it, has been an immense privilege.”
However, we don’t have to let it go just yet: Disney Theatrical Group have said that school children will soon get an opportunity to star in their own rendition of the show themselves.
In a statement, the group said it will be launching a competition for UK secondary schools to win the stage rights to the production and be permitted to put on their own Frozen production.
The initiative will “give one school in every region across the UK the chance to win the stage rights and be the first to present the full-length version of the show”.
The stage adaptation follows a similar storyline to the original film: Queen Elsa’s hidden powers plunge the land of Arendelle into an eternal winter, so her sister Anna sets out to find her and save the kingdom before it’s too late. But the storm...rages on... and both sisters must learn a valuable lesson to stop it.
In The Independent’s review of Frozen the musical, Ava Wong Davies wrote that the stage adaptation “is intended to feel as comforting and familiar as one of Olaf’s warm hugs”.
Frozen is running until 8 September at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.