The Snowman ★★★★ Sadler's Wells Peacock Theatre | Nov 20, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022


The stage version of Howard Blake's The Snowman began life 23 years ago and has developed into a Christmas staple. It continues to look gorgeous, but the first act drags a little and the slow scene changes have the potential to lose the interest of the small children at whom the show is aimed. But then comes the moment everyone has been waiting for, and it is not just the show that takes flight! Using illusions that only live theatre can bring, the little Boy and his Snowman pal magically fly high over the stage and sail above the snow-covered trees, fields and houses – naturally this is accompanied by the famous recording of "Walking in the Air." Act one is brought to an unforgettable close with tiny faces filled with wonder. We are later transported to a party at the North Pole where we meet snowmen from all over the world as well as visiting penguins, a Snow Princess, naughty Jack Frost and even Santa Claus with his reindeer. This act flows much more easily and a series of delightful divertissements remind us that this is actually a ballet using Robert North's charming but not too demanding choreography. Although Bill Alexander's production is touched with magic, we had wished that the Boy and the Snowman had flown just one last time in the finale. If you have children or grandchildren around five years old, this beautiful show is unmissable. It has lost none of its ability to charm young and old alike.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Tristram Kenton.

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