Anyone who has been an avid reader since childhood will know of the fairytale of the Snow Queen. First written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1845, it is a quintessential story of love and friendship. It revolves around two friends who love each other dearly and, when the Snow Queen abducts one of them, the other undergoes an epic journey for a year, through changing seasons, all the way to the North Pole to rescue him. Playwright Anupama Chandrasekhar has adapted the classic for Indian audiences, incorporated with elements of Indian mythology. The play will be staged tonight at the NCPA.
In this version, the protagonist, Gowri, who is looking for her friend, travels through the backwaters of Kerala and the valleys of Kashmir. She even encounters characters from the glitzy world of Bollywood. “I took inspiration from the colours of the seasons and from Andersen’s characters. The Spring Witch becomes Vasanthi, a magical being who rules over the backwaters of Kerala. The prince and princess who finally found true love in each other through Gowri become Bollywood actors — our modern-day royalty” says Anupama.
Talking about her scripting tests, she adds, “The biggest challenge was to write for this age group (from six years old to young adults) and to keep their parents engaged.”
The play was first staged at Unicorn Theatre in London last year, and is now being brought to India by the British Council. “Previously, we have received powerful responses to the play, and we hope that this will continue in Mumbai,” says director Rosamunde Hutt.
The Snow Queen will be staged at the NCPA today and on August 16, 6.30 pm