Die Eiskönigin (Frozen): So good it gives you chills

After the success of the Disney movie Frozen, a musical adaptation was inevitable. Up until now, this musical has only been on stage in England, the USA, Australia, Japan and Germany. Since we’ve always wanted to see a musical in Germany, we took this opportunity to book a musical trip to Hamburg and see the German production of Frozen the Musical: Die Eiskönigin das Musical. Want to know what our experience was like? Read along! 

The story

The story takes place in the kingdom of Arendelle, where princesses Anna and Elsa live. Elsa has had a magical ice power from an early age. When she’s still a young princess, Elsa accidentally injures her sister Anna with her powers. This causes Elsa to start shutting herself off from everything and everyone out of panic for further harm.

When the princesses’ parents die, Elsa must take the crown of Arendelle as the eldest sister. At the coronation, Anna meets Prince Hans. She immediately falls in love with him and decides to marry Hans in a haze of love. Elsa condemns this quick decision, which causes Anna to accidentally discover Elsa’s powers, after which she reveals them to the people of Arendelle.

Elsa flees into the mountains, but her panic causes a lasting snowstorm in the kingdom. Anna goes after her sister, supported by sámi iceman Kristoff (accompanied by reindeer Sven) and magical snowman Olaf. In true Disney fashion, everything turns out well and the princesses live happily ever after.

A true immersion in Arendelle

Immediately at the first sounds of the music, you are immersed in the Kingdom of Arendelle. The sound of the ensemble is strong and all of the voices are sent into the public with so much power and energy, that it makes you feel like you are immersed in the world of Arendelle.

The story begins with little Anna and Elsa. They have to set the tone for the rest of the show and they did this amazingly well. Both actresses were very convincing in their roles, even in the moments where they did not have any lines for a while. Apart from this, it’s impressive how many choreos these children have to know by heart and how seemingly easily they perform them.

The transition to the adult Anna and Elsa happens (just like in the film) beautifully and naturally during the song ‘Willst du einen Schneemann bauen?‘. During this song, several jumps in time are made as little Anna and Elsa make room for the grown-up cast. This makes for a nice pace of the story.

Not only the pace contributes to the level of attention and immersion the public experiences. The decor is also an indispensable factor. With Disney musicals, the stage image is generally always a pleasure to watch, but with Frozen it goes one step further. The special effects that are supposed to display Elsa’s magical powers are truly magical and the ice castle with crystals is almost even more beautiful than the one in the movie. In addition, snowman Olaf and reindeer Sven really come to life on stage thanks to the ways in which the puppets are used by the actors.

©Disney/Photo: Johan Persson

Dutch representation in the cast

To us, it makes it extra special that, when you travel to Arendelle in Germany, you will also meet several fellow Dutchies. The performance we saw, featured no fewer than three Dutch people in the lead roles: Janneke Ivankova as Elsa, Bob van de Weijdeven as Prinz Hans and Owen Playfair as Kristoff. Call us nationalistic, but we felt extra proud seeing fellow Dutchies singing, acting and dancing their hearts out.

Janneke is super strong as Elsa. She knows how to move you with the song ‘Gefährlich, wenn man träumt‘ and she blows you away with ‘Lass jetzt los‘. The chemistry with Celena Pieper, who played the role of Anna, is also very nice to watch. They really know how to convey the special sisterly bond that Elsa and Anna have with each other. Celena, in turn, is a dreamed-up Anna. It’s as if she’s walking straight out of the Disney movie. Her jokes, her facial expressions. It’s all fantastically timed and she simply put a smile on our faces.

What also made us very happy, is the energy of the two male lead roles. Bob portrays Prinz Hans as a slightly clumsy prince who cunningly seduces Anna. Bob recently took over this role from Milan van Waardenburg and let’s face it… Those are big shoes to fill. Nevertheless, we didn’t find it noticeable at all that Bob has only been part of the cast for such a short time. He acts and sings fantastically and all at such a young age. We can’t wait to see more of him.

The other male lead, Kristoff, was portrayed by Owen, who has also not been part of Die Eiskönigin for very long. This does not show at all either. The audience was blown away by ‘Wann warst du schon mal verliebt‘ and we are sure that Owen made many hearts melt with his rendition of ‘Kristoff’s Gute Nacht Lied’.

It’s nice to see how these four characters grow so much throughout the show. Of course, that’s partly because of how the story is written by Disney’s writers, but certainly also because of how the four protagonists have shaped their characters. They do this wholeheartedly as if they are experiencing the story and every emotion that comes with it for the first time. That’s really remarkable and makes the story so much more endearing.

©Elindo Avastia
©Elindo Avastia
©Elindo Avastia
©Elindo Avastia

German + Arendelle = a perfect match

To be brutally honest with you, we were a bit hesitant to see this musical in Germany. Going to a German musical when you don’t speak the language fluently… Is that even a good idea?

But nothing could be further from the truth. German fits perfectly with this musical. In our opinion, the sound of the German language is a very good match with the ambiance that surrounds the story of Die Eiskönigin. We think that it even adds to the experience because it makes the story more convincing.

When it comes to the plot, we were able to follow the story really well. We think this will be the case for most people that speak a little German. Especially if you’ve already seen the movie once or twice (or more). The extensive decor also gives a lot of context to the story, which makes it absolutely no problem if you don’t understand a word or two. And if there are moments that you don’t fully understand what is going on, it can also be really fun to let your mind create your ‘own’ story. 

All in all, we found it an experience in itself to see a musical in German and we think it is definitely worth repeating in the future.

©Disney/Photo: Johan Persson

Let's go to Hamburg!

Did we infatuate you with the Frozen virus and do you want to experience this production of the show for yourself? Tickets are currently available up until July 2023. More than enough time to plan a weekend trip to Hamburg. You can find more information on the show on the website.

For a little sneak peek, you can watch our recording of the curtain call. 

Header: ©Disney/Photo: Johan Persson

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