The Snowman has been a successful picture book, a much-loved animated film, an “experience”, and this stage show – a dance piece which expands the story to 100 minutes – has now been coming back each Christmas for over twenty years.
Utilising both the characters created by Raymond Briggs and the music of Howard Blake this show brings the magic of The Snowman to life, and gives a nice festive glow to the Peacock Theatre. The basic premise of the story is still there – it is snowing on Christmas Eve, and a boy collects the snow to make an impressive snowman, who comes to life and takes him on a magic adventure.
Where this show does diverge is in adding additional dance sequences: there is a rabbit and fox in the motorcycle scene, a parade of fruit in the kitchen, toys coming to life in the bedroom. At the North Pole an ice spirit and princess battle within the happy surroundings of Father Christmas’s annual party.
It’s a spectacle which gives a warm glow, with a vibrant Snowman (Kane Hoad at this performance) and an ensemble who bring the pictures on the page to life. It can’t compare with the animated film for those of us who grew up with it, but it is certainly worth a look if you haven’t been before to see the boy and the snowman fly, and some of the new routines. Where it didn’t quite take flight for me was in the emotional engagement with the story, and thus the ending was not the powerful force it is in the animation.
Photo credits Alastair Muir.
LouReviews paid for a ticket to see The Snowman.