Thomas McGuane on being Prince Hans in FROZEN THE MUSICAL

Thomas McGuane as Prince Hans

Brisbane is in for a chilly summer, because Frozen The Musical has opened its gates at QPAC!

The story of sisters Anna and Elsa has swept the world, cementing itself as one of the greatest animated films of all time. The magic of the movie has been transformed into a stage spectacular, now playing in Brisbane after successful seasons in Sydney and Melbourne. Thomas McGuane plays the dashing Prince Hans, the love interest of Princess Anna.

Born and raised in regional Victoria, Thomas is a graduate from Victorian College of the Arts (BFA, Music Theatre). Whilst at the VCA, he played Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone, appeared as a featured soloist for Morning Melodies, Arts Centre Melbourne and was the recipient of the Cassidy Bequest Scholarship based on merit in the three disciplines of acting, singing, and dance. Since graduating, he performed the role of Randall in the Australian premiere of Bring It On (David Venn Enterprises) and Bob Gaudio in the national tour of Jersey Boys (Jersey Boys Productions) for which he won the GLUG award for Most Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer. Thomas was also a finalist for the 2017 Rob Guest Endowment Award.

How have you found playing a character like Prince Hans?

Thomas: There’s quite a joy in playing the duality of his personality. He is quite joyful and playful and very charming, especially towards Anna. You know, he appears to have this sort of deep, obsessive infatuation with her from the get go. And that’s obviously reciprocated, which is why “Love Is An Open Door” exists as a number. It’s sort of like the perfect first date sped off into a proposal. And then that duality, you know, that double edged sword of him being in a leadership role that came out of nowhere. He has this bravery and poise and these leadership characteristics that you wouldn’t think would come from him. That’s what’s really fun about playing him, is that he puts on these different masks throughout the show. He is the same character and he is still Hans, but for some particular reason, an audience might see it and go, “wow, this character is quite complex.” And I really think he is. You don’t get to play many characters like that, who obviously go through quite an emotional journey and then end up – no spoilers – how he is.

Frozen is known for being groundbreaking for a number of reasons, but particularly because it doesn’t centre a romantic relationship. Why do you think it’s such a special show?

Thomas: It’s sort of the first Disney movie, I think, to explore that sort of unconventional, true love, which is the love of family. When the first when the film came out in 2013, I don’t think anyone expected it to be what it is now. And it really has become a global phenomenon for but for sisterhood, female strength, integrity, families coming together, and the adversities that come with that. You know, all the anger and frustration that comes with locking someone out, not being able to be yourself and then finding liberty in releasing. Elsa thinks about letting go people’s expectations of her, and she’s letting go of this character that she thinks she needs to be. But she’s always been locking her true self away, and that’s what she’s letting go. So, yeah, really, it’s the first Disney film to really explore quite adult and very mature themes in a in obviously a very fun and charismatic way. And that formula translates very well for the stage as well. If anything, it translates even more mature, I think on stage, because you’re now seeing real people in these roles. You’re no longer identifying with animated characters. You’re able to identify with actual people singing these songs and saying these lines.

And Prince Hans gets a brand new song in the show – “Hans of the Southern Isles”! That must be so exciting.

Thomas: Oh, absolutely. So he gets this because this really beautiful musical motif throughout the show, which Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson Lopez wrote. He’s quite a fan of the ‘superhero’ themes, so you can hear that in the horns part of this musical motif. It’s sort of his own message to an understated superhero theme. It’s this beautiful theme that becomes quite diverse throughout the show, and it’s really fun to sing honestly. It’s it’s quite a beautiful piece of theatre that caught me by surprise when I first heard it and was able to sing it.

Courtney Monsma and Thomas McGuane | Photo by Lisa Tomasetti

Frozen really appeals to such a wide audience – it isn’t just a show for kids.

Thomas: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had family members come and see the show, friends come and see the show, a couple of friends have taken the kids as well. There’s a really special thing that happens when adults can see the show and they get their own experience. You know, you see it through your eyes and you make of it what you will. But, as a parent, you have this added bonus of experiencing it through your child’s eyes as well. Like it or not, they’re going to be singing the songs on the way home, and that’s just their experience of it. They’re enthralled by the story. I think the parents get a lot more than they bargained for. It’s not just for the kids. This show is really for everyone. And it plays on so many themes that we can all relate to.

Do you have a favourite song from the show

Thomas: You know what? It’s hands down, like not even any hesitation, definitely Kristoff’s Lullaby. It’s  a new song put into the musical, not from the original. It’s beautiful. And it really is a lullaby that that Kristoff gets to sing sort of… out of time, like time suddenly stops and we enter this hardened mountain man’s thoughts. It’s a beautiful ballad that I’m just obsessed with. I think it’s one of the best additions to this story, hands down.

Why should audiences come and see Frozen?

Thomas: I would say… come if you want to sit in a theatre buzzing with magic, children laughing and crying, everyone having the time of their life, to have a laugh, have a cry, and see some fantastic singing and acting. If you want to see a true Broadway Disney spectacular, then you have to come to person.

Frozen The Musical is currently playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC.

For tickets and more information, please visit the Frozen The Musical website.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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