When I was young(er) all the usual role models for little girls were lame.
Their function was to be vacuous receptors of praise about their looks, cooking, cleaning and being a great mum.
It was a type of mass hysteria on behalf of the male hegemony (thaim wot got the power, likes) who commissioned, created, manufactured and published those ‘lovely liddle women’.
But fiest will out.
Instead, many of us underground tweenie feminists found our radical inspiration in unusual places. The Snow Queen was a favourite, along with Cruella DeVille and Baba Yaga.
These characters were single, powerful, rich and witty, oh and beautiful. Despite our need for power and wit, us proto-feminists still cleaved to the beauty myth.
These characters were also evil: stealing children, cooking them and skinning cute animals. But us pre-pubescent radicals did not buy it.
We figured it was just bad PR and propaganda by the enemy. Men were spiking our heroines to make sure they were thoroughly unlikeable and not role-modelable. The same way witches were castigated for being single childless women with property needing to be confiscated.
But those days are over. We can find role models of women-with-power wielding it responsibly all around us. We don’t need to turn to the evil ones for inspiration. Or do we?
I was fearful about taking my 7 year old daughter to see the Lyceum’s new Snow Queen. Not for her, but for womankind.
After all, if wee Zazou had chosen the Snow Queen, it would mean we had not progressed one iota. Who are the role models for the noughtie girls of today?
Thankfully, reporting from the gender wars frontline, I can report to the troops that she chose …dugh dugh … dugh dugh … dugh dugh… (giving it an X Factor delay) … COBWEB SPIDER as her favourite character, yay.
Or does that mean more bad news? Cobweb Spider works for the Snow Queen but when he (yes, he’s a bloke) doesn’t get sufficiently rewarded for his labours, decides to support the goodies. On the one hand, a chancer, on the other, a turncoat and opportunist.
Go see the production and take a young girl, or even a boy, for that matter. There is a full range of characters and role models to chose from. Pantomimes and children’s theatre are the best introduction to theatre. Find out their favourite character then analyse at leisure.
A brilliant show full of lovely scenery and music, great acting, most of the panto conventions (he’s behind you, oh no she isn’t …), great humour and especially the lovely special effect of falling snow on the audience just before the break. As a tribute, I’ve done the same for this blog.
The Snow Queen continues till 31 December. You can hear Zazou’s brief review on Leith Tonight radio show – the arts and culture centre of excellence in East Central Scotland here.
Other Related Articles
Four and Five stars from the media in Scotland
- Mary Brennan at The Herald here ““the welcome return of Stuart Paterson’s play, not seen on any Scottish stage for far too long”
- Mark Fisher at The Guardian ..picks up a breakneck pace as it hurtles towards the interval… a deep and urgent story”
- Thom Dibdin at the Evening News “hilarity, joy and downright naughtiness… a thrilling and magical production”
- Public Reviews’ “appeals to children and adults alike… Mark Thomson’s production sparkles along… Just right for Christmas”
- Ana Bradley at TV Bomb “boos and hisses, song and dance and an unshakable feeling of Christmassy magic… an entirely fun and enjoyable production”
- Lyndsay Corr at Edinburgh Review “an enchanting production full of surprises that’ll ensure the whole family will leave the auditorium with smile on their face”
- Ros Mackenzie at Lothian Life “This five star delightful production will warm the hearts of all… this is seasonal magic.”
- Helene Cloete at Edinburgh Theatre Review “The eleven actors all deliver energetic performances… The children clearly love it”