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The Snow Queen set to entertain audiences across Gloucestershire

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

The Snow Queen

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PLAYING the Snow Queen in Rain or Shine’s winter tour is not quite as simple as it seems for Gloucester actress Pippa Meekings.

Despite being the title role, the queen doesn’t appear on stage as much as would be expected, so Pippa takes on several other roles during the production.

The Snow Queen is touring several venues around Gloucestershire this month including Willersey village hall near Broadway tomorrow and Hucclecote Methodist church hall on Sunday.

Fellow actress Claire Tucker, who plays the character of Gerda in the play, said: “Pippa plays lots of different characters so her changes have to be quite slick, as she swaps costumes and wigs around.

“It makes it all quite hectic and you have to get yourself into a different character’s head but it’s all good fun.” Pippa’s range of characters includes a robber girl, a summer princess and a spring sorceress.

“She’s playing all the different seasons basically,” said artistic director James Reynard, who is also the narrator.

The Snow Queen has been touring nationally since November and continues a busy schedule until February 1, when it end its run on Alderney in the Channel Islands, childhood home of James.

Now living in Dursley with his wife and fellow Rain or Shine actor Claire, James has been adapting and directing shows for the company for several years.

“I chose The Snow Queen because I’d seen it a couple of times and thought it was a really interesting story,” he said.

“There are several different versions so that gives you quite a lot of room for imagination when you are adapting it, although I have tried to stay reasonable loyal to the original Hans Christian Andersen story.

“In some versions the Snow Queen is portrayed as evil but in the original story she’s not evil but just represents winter, which can be cold and harsh but also beautiful.”

The story centres around Gerda’s search for her friend, Kai, who is taken by the Snow Queen after he is turned bad when a sliver of enchanted glass falls into his eye.

Gerda has to travel across many lands and through all the seasons as she takes a year to find her friend and help him escape.

On the journey she has many adventures and meet many different creatures from animals and flowers to goblins and robbers.

Just five actors play all the roles in the production, which visits Hucclecote, Naunton and Prestbury this month, among others.

Aimed at adults and children aged from six, tickets are available from each venue or directly from Rain or Shine on 01452 521575.

Tomorrow the show plays at Willersey village hall at 7pm with tickets £5 for children and £9 for adults. On Sunday it arrives at Hucclecote Methodist church hall at 3pm and tickets cost £10 for adults and £6 for children from 01452 547815.

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