Frozen to transfer to West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2020
| By Sarah Gengenbach
(Updated on Mar 19, 2019)
Baz Bamigboye of the Daily News reported today on Twitter that the highly anticipated West End transfer of Disney’s Frozen the musical has been negotiated. The show is set to hit the ice at London’s Theatre Royal Drury sometime in 2020, dates have yet to be released and the news has yet to be confirmed by Disney.
While Frozen has received mixed reviews from critics, some of them lukewarm at best, the musical has an intense fan following. It has been on the #WestEndWishlist of many fans who have been anxiously awaiting confirmation of the transfer. It has been reported that the original team might come back together to tweak and rework aspects of the musical to “tighten it up for the West End”.
The musical was brought to life by an incredible team. The music and lyrics are by husband and wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Kristen is an Oscar and Grammy award winner who, besides Frozen, is best known for her work on Disney’s Coco as well as Up Here and Winnie the Pooh. Her husband is a double, that’s right, double EGOT winner behind the widely successful The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q. The book is by Jennifer Lee who also wrote for Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, and A Wrinkle In Time.
The cast that originated the roles of Anna, Elsa and Kristoff at the premiere of the show are still playing the roles on Broadway. Patti Murin, who stars as Anna, was involved in the development and workshopping process of the musical. She originated the title role in Lysistrata Jones and played Glinda in the first national tour of Wicked. Caissie Levy, who plays Elsa, is no stranger to Broadway or the West End, for that matter. She originated the role of Molly in Ghost the Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre. She has also been in productions of Wicked, Hair, and Les Miserables. Jelani Alladin, who made his Broadway debut in Frozen, plays Kristoff. With very little solid information about the planned West End transfer fans have been left to wonder about possible casting choices. Will any of the original cast transfer with the show when it comes across the pond, or will the transfer be recast with British actors?
The wildly successful 2013 film on which the musical is based, features the voices of Kristen Bell and the original Elphaba, Idina Menzel. The film was lauded for its female positive storyline and departure from the standard Disney love story. The film was an international hit grossing over 1.2 billion dollars worldwide. Along with the incredible response from fans, the awards community was also paying attention. Frozen won a slew of awards including 2 Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and 2 Grammys. Since its release, Frozen has been followed up with two short films and a full-length sequel, Frozen 2, is scheduled for release in late November 2019.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where Frozen is set to transfer, is scheduled to close for refurbishment at the end of the run of 42nd Street in the beginning of January 2019. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LW Theatres announced a £35million refurbishment planned for the theatre. The refurbishment is set to remove modern alterations to the building, restoring its original features and to reduce the capacity from 2,200 seats to 2,000 seats in an effort to provide better sightlines and more comfortable seating for audiences. The refurbishment is also focused on bringing greater access to the theatre with ramps and lifts planned for each level. This large overall of the space is sure to take time which has us wondering if Frozen is set to be the show to reopen the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2020.
While information is scarce regarding the West End transfer of Frozen, you can check back with us for updates on Disney’s Frozen the musical, and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get information about this and all of your other favourite shows.
Update: It was officially confirmed today (19 March 2019) that Frozen will definitely be transferring to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in autumn 2020 following the venue's refurbishment.