On Saturday we visited Sadlers Wells at The Peacock Theatre in London to watch The Snowman. Now in its 22nd year it’s obviously stood the test of time. The Raymond Briggs classic was nearly sold out with excited family’s at 11am in the morning which can only be testament to its appeal.
One of my most vivid childhood memories was watching The Snowman at Christmas. To this day it’s one of the only films that makes me cry, but I love it and my plush Snowman toy – I’ve had it for years. Andy, knowing my love of the original story bought me the DVD of The Snowman and the Snow Dog. I’m not embarrassed to say that it’s still in its wrapper, I just can’t bring myself to watch it! What a wuss hey!
We were kindly invited to review The Snowman which is Based on the book by Raymond Briggs and produced by John Coates. With music and lyrics by Howard Blake including the classic ‘Walking in the Air’. Choreography is by Robert North, and the show is directed by Bill Alexander.
We visited with my friends and fellow bloggers Ruth and Lisa (who also reviewed the show) along with their families. All have been before and remark on it being one of their most favourite Christmas traditions. Ruth knowing my love of dance and the theatre said she frequently looked over to see my expressions. I’m an ugly crier, lets leave it at that for now !
What to expect!
The Snowman isn’t just a ballet, like the film there is no dialogue instead the audience is captivated with a mix of dance, live music, storytelling, special effects and magic. The show is perfectly suited for 3-8 year olds with its simple plot and enchanting set and costumes. I would say older children would be just as impressed though, with the complex dance routines, characterisation and of course flying !
Let’s face it though the most captivated member of my family was me. I found watching it with my young family was utterly magical. I sobbed like a baby as soon as the live orchestra started to play Walking in the air which elevated over the noise of the rambunctious crowd. There was a collective gasp as the boy and snowman left the ground and soared above the stage. I was off, my tiny Wilba’s arms clung tighter to my neck as the tears welled and I tightened my grip on The Boy as we watched the Ariel ballet ! Gobsmacking
A tale of two halves
The first half of Snowman Peacock Theatre is true to the film but the second half brings in some more Christmas elements as they take a trip to the North Pole. Santa dances joyfully with a chorus line of characters including woodland creatures, penguins and an array of what I imagined to be the snowman’s relatives from all four corners of the globe. Out favourite was the Scottish Snowman – you can only hazard a guess at the joke Andy made about what was under a Snowman’s kilt 🙄. All is well until Jack Frost appears and try’s to kidnap the Snow Princess – Wilba’s fave. Luckily the Snowmen and the boy work together to defeat him and after Santa’s gifts it’s time to return home.
After face melting into my Snowman sweet cone during the first half I was actually quite nervous about how the kids ( OK, me ) would handle the inevitable end. Thankfully it’s done sensitively and it’s not long before it’s snowing again-Phew. Hint: make sure you get central stall seats if you really want to be part of the action in the finale!
How long is it ?
The performance is about 1.45 in length with the second half much shorter. This is the longest performance my kids have attended so far but they sat through with only the odd “ have we got anymore snacks?” Which is not a problem at all at the Peacock Theatre. There is no hushing or judgemental looks they are aware of their clientele and the performance is not affected by the hubbub in my opinion at all.
I would highly recommend this performance. I’m going to stick my neck out here and say it’s unmissable if you have young children who love to dance and act! Don’t forget to take a tissue.
The Snowman is at the Peacock Theatre, London from 21 November 2019 until 5 Jan 2020. Click here to book tickets. It’s also visiting Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Milton Keynes.
Disclaimer : Thank you to Sadlers Wells who kindly gave us a family ticket for the purpose of this post. You might also like to read our review of Shreks Adventure
and The Christmas Grotto which we visited the same day.
Set-Up shots showing The Snowman @ Birmingham Rep Theatre.
©Tristram Kenton 01/17
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