A story of sisterhood, Frozen has absolutely changed the game.
The 2013 film reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”, following a queen who has uncontrollable icy powers. The movie was met with critical acclaim for its plot, music, and representation of familial relationships, and it was no surprise that a musical adaptation was born. With additional songs from the original writing team of Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (In Transit), the stage musical somehow manages to expand on the already near-perfect film, making for a thrilling and exciting 2 and a bit hours of entertainment.
The Australian production of Frozen boasts an impressive cast, including Jemma Rix as Elsa, Courtney Monsma as Anna, Thomas McGuane as Hans, Matt Lee as Olaf, and Sean Sinclair as Kristoff.
A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (Bachelor of Musical Theatre), Courtney has catapulted herself into the Australian musical scene. Past musical credits include Katherine Howard in the Australian premiere cast of SIX The Musical at the Sydney Opera House, the Australasian tour of Aladdin (u/s Princess Jasmine), the Australian tour of Mamma Mia! (u/s Sophie), and Opera Queensland’s Kiss Me Kate.
With Frozen finally playing at Melbourne’s beautiful Her Majesty’s Theatre, we had chat with Courtney about taking on the iconic and feisty Princess.
Are you excited to be bringing the show to Melbourne?
Courtney: I’m so excited to be bringing the show to Melbourne. I’ve never performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre before, so that’s really exciting. And I’m just excited for the Melbourne people to see our show.
How would you say that is different from other roles that you might have played throughout your career?
Courtney: I think Anna is pretty exceptional, but I’ve learnt a lot from her. She definitely doesn’t follow the typical norms of like a leading lady as such. She really gets to be her own pioneer – she doesn’t need to be saved by a man, and gets to be adventurous and tackle the story head on. So I really love that about her. I also love that she’s just an absolute ball of energy!
The cast of the show really is stellar – is it exciting to be working alongside such an amazingly talented bunch?
Courtney: It’s so exciting. I’m honestly so inspired by Jemma so getting to work with her a super special. We have a really special bond, which I think really carries through the show, and I’m so honoured to perform beside her. But I’m just inspired by literally everyone on the stage, it’s such a really special company and I think we all really care about the show and just do it justice.
I think after the year Victoria’s had, it’s almost poignant to have the story of Frozen finally playing.
Courtney: It really does relate to what we’ve been through, you know, closing the the castle gates and then finally learning to let go and all join together and be a family again.
Do you have a favourite part of the show?
Courtney: I love all of it [laughs]. I think the one that I’ve really been loving lately is the duet that Jemma and I get to sing, which is an additional song that’s not in the film called “I Can’t Lose You”. It’s a moment where we really get to connect as sisters and kind of sums up the whole story and our relationship. So it’s a really special moment I get to experience with her.
On that note, how did it feel to be taking on the newer material?
Courtney: It was really exciting because I think when something is new, you get to have your own spin on how it’s interpreted as well. And that happened even with all the songs in the film. You know, it’s our personal take on the story. Even though the songs are so iconic, it’s really such a refreshing view to watch the stage show.
Why should people come and see Frozen?
Courtney: Frozen is the perfect example of escapism within theatre, transporting you into a magical world. Whether you’re into the songs, the set, or the costumes, there’s something for everyone in the show. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you’ll have a great night out.
Frozen is playing now at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.
For tickets and more information, visit the Frozen website.