We Are Chester guest contributor Emma Tattum visits Theatr Clwyd in Mold to enjoy an immersive festive performance. Photos: Brian Roberts.
When a mysterious mirror is uncovered within Theatr Clwyd’s walls, it opens a portal into an idyllic alternative world.
But when the mirror is cracked, are you brave enough to enter the alternative world and help save Kai from The Snow Queen’s impossible puzzle?
As I arrive at a very festive Theatr Clwyd, I am asked the question, “Are you okay with physical activity?” This is something I never thought I would be asked before seeing a show, but of course I say yes.
I am handed either a green, blue, black or white lanyard. Mine is green and I am then sent to the gallery to await the start of the adventure.
Everyone is split into groups depending on their colour lanyards, blue and green together and black and white together. Each group takes a different route.
The show begins and a huge hole in the Theatr Clwyd walls is revealed, with a magnificent magical secret mirror hidden behind it. When the mirror smashes, the adventure begins.
My group are led into an old-fashioned town called Little Clwyd, set with a fortune teller, a bar, a bakery and much more. It really feels as if we are sent back in time and are in a real town. The time and effort that has gone into the design is a real credit to the creative team.
On entering, we meet Gerda (Robyn Sinclair), a young girl and her grandma, who tells the story of The Snow Queen.
As we’re reunited we are treated to a song from Gerda and her best friend Kai (Holly Davies). The town’s stalls and people come alive and we are treated to palm readings, cookie making, fancy dress photos and a glass of mulled ribena – just what the doctor ordered. For a moment, you forget the real world and feel immersed in this alternative land of festive fun.
The lively town is soon struck by a snow storm (and be warned, you’ll still be finding bits of snow in your hair the next day!) and Kai goes missing. The search is then on to find him.
As we move to the next room, we meet Ripley (Matilda Reith) and the Pockets, a fierce group of girls who agree to help Gerda and our group find Kai. We are all given disguises in the form of masks so we can remain undetected.
We make our way through Gerda’s treehouse and towards a hidden room where we almost meet The Snow Queen. We hide under tables and behind walls and pretend to be ice sculptures and luckily they never find us.
Sneaking through the corridors at Theatr Clwyd, we find a smoke-filled floor with benches and books lining the way. Let the game of ‘the floor is lava’ commence.
“Is the floor lava for adults too?” asks my companion Kara.
“The floor is lava for everyone!” says Ripley.
After making our way through the obstacles, we arrive in our penultimate area of the adventure.
Arriving back in Little Clwyd and with all groups reunited, we all join in with one final song and dance. I am still singing the song in my head the next day.
“I will be your best friend. Cross my heart and hope to die.”
I don’t want to give too many of the secrets away, so you’ll have to see the show for yourself.
A brilliantly original and immersive piece of theatre with riddles, games and illusions, this story is perfect for under 11s and all the family.
It runs until 6 January but tickets are limited so book them here while you can.
Emma Tattum also writes and contributes multi media content to the online magazine for Wrexham Glyndwr University students, Egwyl, in addition to having worked on a documentary for the Made in North Wales TV channel.