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The Snow Queen


The Snow Queen premiered in 2019 as part of Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary season. This glittering production is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale – which was also the basis for Frozen.

From the bustle of a winter’s market to the shivers of a fairytale forest, take a journey to the Snow Queen’s palace, where you’ll find her surrounded by the icy fragments of an enchanted mirror. Along the way, you’ll meet a sparkling cast of characters, from young lovers parted by a spell to a circus ringmaster with a few tricks up his sleeve.

Choreographed by Christopher Hampson and designed by the award-winning Lez Brotherston, this story of love and friendship is a delight for the whole family.  

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Last performed: The Snow Queen was last performed in winter 2022-23. For current productions, visit our What’s On page.

Scottish Ballet premiere: December 2019 (World Premiere)

Choreography: Christopher Hampson
Design: Lez Brotherston OBE
Lighting Design: Paul Pyant
Music: Rimsky-Korsakov 


‘Frosty and firelit, sweet and sharp, it’s another Scottish Ballet Christmas triumph.’ 

The List


‘Unmissable…It’s the festive family treat we’ve been longing for!’

The Herald


‘Pure magic…[a] flawless performance

The Wee Review


‘A magical work…this is a show not to miss

Arts Review Edinburgh


Act 1 

The Enchanted Mirror
The young Snow Queen and her sister, the Summer Princess, live in an isolated Ice Palace. The Summer Princess longs to leave and begs the Snow Queen to use her enchanted mirror to show the future. Looking through the mirror, the Summer Princess can see herself, many years later, embracing a handsome stranger. Unwilling to wait a moment longer, she decides she must leave to find him. 

The Snow Queen pleads with her to stay, but the Summer Princess disguises herself and flees, leaving the Snow Queen alone. The Snow Queen grows angry as she contemplates a life alone and, in her rage, she shatters her enchanted mirror and vows to bring her sister back to the Ice Palace. 

The Busy Marketplace
The Summer Princess lives for many years on the outskirts of a busy town. She is known locally as Lexi, a dangerous pickpocket armed with a shard of glass from the enchanted mirror. 

One crisp winter’s day, handsome Kai proposes to his beloved Gerda and they become engaged. Watching on, Lexi recognises Kai as the stranger she saw in the mirror and waits for her moment to meet him. 

Never one to miss an opportunity, Lexi works the crowd but gets caught in the act. Kai, feeling sorry for her, helps her avoid capture with an embrace. Gerda is rightfully suspicious of Lexi’s intentions. 

A travelling circus arrives led by Zach and his wife, Mazelda, a fortune teller. The circus entertains the gathering crowd with acrobats, clowns, a strongman and a ballerina. 

Suddenly, time freezes and the Snow Queen appears. She begs her sister to return with her. Lexi refuses and the Snow Queen snatches her shard of glass and blows the crystals into Kai’s eye, causing him to see all that is beautiful as ugly. He becomes mean and spiteful as the shards find their way to his heart, turning it to ice. The Snow Queen waits for her opportunity to steal Kai ensuring her sister’s return, but unwittingly sets in motion a quest for Gerda to win Kai back with the help of an unlikely ally in Lexi. 

Act 2

The Traveller’s Camp
Lexi leads Gerda far away, deep in the forest to visit Mazelda, the fortune teller. Mazelda reveals that Kai has indeed been stolen away by the Snow Queen and is now bewitched to forget his true love. Lexi tells Gerda there is no hope of getting him back, she knows her sister’s powers. Gerda will not give up and she sets out alone to find him. 

The Forest
As Gerda travels through a wintry forest, the Snow Queen tries to block her path: Jack Frosts, Snowflakes and Snow Wolves surround her, but she battles on to reach the Ice Palace. 

The Ice Palace
At the Ice Palace, Gerda finds Kai bewitched by the Snow Queen; he no longer recognises her. The Snow Queen looks to attack Gerda but is interrupted by the arrival of Lexi who transforms back into the Summer Princess to return to her sister forever. The Snow Queen’s spell is broken, and Kai and Gerda are reunited.