Snow Q is a live literature performance which was inspired by Andersen's enigmatic tale of friendship, love and loyalty to explore contemporary themes of social isolation, gender, sexuality, migration and exile.
At the centre of Snow Q are lifelong friends Gerda and Kai, two lost young people.
When winter comes, ice enters Kai's heart and when Kai disappears, Gerda embarks on a quest to rescue their lost friend, meeting a wise, at times acerbic, Crow who tells stories in an extraordinary hybrid language of English and Polish.
Writer Maria Jastrzębska has re-imagined the story with a series of poems in the voices of the Crow and Gerda and Kai, who both identify as non-binary.
Maria says: "As a child I was greatly disturbed by the idea of a piece of ice falling into your heart. Could someone else's tears melt it? When I started writing Snow Q I knew Gerda and Kai were not going to be traditionally girl-and-boy in my version.
"I wanted to use this story to ask what it is that keeps us disconnected from one another and everything around us.
"How do we truly communicate with each other? Once ice has lodged in our hearts, can it melt?"
Snow Q features originally composed music, film, sound design and poetry in English, Polish and "Ponglish" to show how language can transcend borders.
Snow Q is touring in February 2020 including:
Tuesday 18th February at Lewes All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, as part of 'Experiments with Live Literature' season .. Advance tickets £8 + booking fee/ more on the door. Doors: 7.45pm.
Saturday February 22nd The Spire, Brighton as part of LGBTQ History Month. Advance tickets £8 (includes booking fee) / £10 on the door. Doors 3.45pm.