FamilyIce ShowNorth WestReview

Disney On Ice: Dream Big – Manchester Arena

Director: Patty Vincent

Choreographer: Cindy Stuart

Reviewer: John Roberts

Feld Entertainment have been working alongside Disney to produce family-friendly entertainment for over a decade and this latest spectacle on their Disney On Ice franchise certainly packs lots of charm and enchantment for the young at heart especially during Mickey Mouse’s 90th Birthday year.

Disney on Ice: Dream Big see’s characters from Disney’s 2016 hit Moana take to the rink for the very first time alongside other familiar princesses including Rapunzel, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, Anna and Elsa all presented here in small segments and retellings of the most courageous moments from their respective films. This Is a sure-fire way to ensure every audience member has a moment in the show they can relate too and or see their favourite character, but it also means that at times the production feels a little disconnected and stories appear shoe-horned in to meet the above expectations.

The show is as bright and as colourful as you would come to expect from a Disney production. Ivan Ingermann’s costume designs adapt the princess’s usual long dresses for a skating environment without compromising the integrity of the character being presented. Likewise, Stan Mayer is creative in his set design which sees a large looming tower become the focal point for many a story to start and end, and allows the rink to become as open as possible for the large ensemble to perform Cindy Stuart’s charming choreography.

If one was to be overly critical of Patty Vincent’s production, it would come down to the issue of having cast mime and mouth lyrics and lines from the production – one can understand the fact that the performers come from all over the world and that English may not be their spoken tongue, but it just feels that the option to help connect to the character on a more personable level is lost when they are lip-syncing to dialogue or music.

There are plenty of surprises to be had with Dream Big – Maleficent’s Dragon is a spectacle in its own right and draws plenty of attention from the audience and a highlight for this reviewer was the Under The Sea and Be Our Guest sections which showcases the whole company, costumes, and lighting design to their best.

While Dream Big is certainly presented with larger than life charm, one can’t help but wonder what would happen if Feld Entertainment dreamed big and produced an ice spectacular that focused on one film/story – I think something quite magical might be created, but I guess we will have to wait and see if that ever happens.

Reviewed on 10 October 2018 – Tours UK until Jan 2019 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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