This December, London’s Peacock Theatre offers its audience a chance to dive into winter wonderland for the 21st consecutive year! Alongside the talented choreographer Robert North, director Bill Alexander brings new life to Raymond Brigg’s classic ‘The Snowman’ for its 40th anniversary. An enthusiastic and energetic cast unwrap the magic of Christmas morning before December 25th, with a string of 3 young boys (Lewis Chan, John Jackson and Cameron James Sutherland) perfectly executing the role of ‘The Boy’ with both joy and mischief.
The production provides an interactive and magical experience, with interpretative dance alongside theatrical and balletic form, that allows the time old tale to be perfectly explained without a single word. A keen use of lighting and set design, by Tim Mitchell and Ruari Murchison respectively, takes the audience from their seats directly into the snowy forests for a wondrous night of festive enchantment. Shadow play creates the illusion of fresh snowfall and costume design makes the most mature of the audience truly believe that the ‘toy’ characters, such as Emanuela Atzeni as the ‘Music Box Ballerina’, are coming alive.
The second half of the production presents a glorious opportunity to indulge in imagination as a charming performance by snowmen from around the world unite to express their individual cultures through demonstrative dance- the dapper ‘Fred Astaire Snowman’ (Cameron Ball) is a personal favourite. One can tell a story through eloquent speech, but Alexander's production of a snowman proves it can be told all the more elegantly through dance.
The most evocative of moments was by far the flight scene. Together the leads, ‘The Snowman’ (Martin Fenton) and ‘The Boy’ soar hand in hand through a clear night sky, treading the air, and bringing the illusion of flight to life. The two characters were mirrored by the parents and their children alike, who waved at the fantasia before them. This production creates an experience that makes even the most mature of us revert back to our younger selves and enjoy the excitement of our first snow fall once again!
It’s impossible to imagine that the beauty held within the time old classic film, directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates, could ever be recreated, however the atmosphere in the audience, produced by this Birmingham Repertory Theatre production, proves this assumption false. As the lights came up, smiles were spread across the faces of everyone, from the giddy girls holding hands to the little lads laughing. The parents were equally enchanted and I, as a party of 1, wore a grin just as big as the rest of them. It is truly a magical experience that encompasses all ages.
Sadler's Wells - Peacock Theatre
Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT
Thursday 22 November - Sunday 6 January 2019
Tickets: £15 - £38