The Snowman has become a festive tradition in this household yet despite multiple viewings we are still enchanted by this joyful dance, musical and theatrical extravaganza. The show, based on the much-loved picture book by Raymond Briggs, follows a young boy on Christmas Eve whose snowman come to life and together they go on a magical adventure throughout the world.
The festivities start as soon as you enter the auditorium with the dramatic set designed by Ruari Murchinson where lights create the impression of calmly falling snow and continues throughout the production.
For children and adults alike the costumes, colours and music are captivating and the fact there are not a lot of words means even tiny humans can use their imaginations to revel in the movement, the characters and the festive atmosphere. For a four year old the enjoyment comes from watching everyday play things come to life on stage, a train wizzing past as the snowman and the boy play around in the kid’s bedroom or watching fruit emerge from the fridge and join in a limbo dance competition (at this point the young Londoner got up and did a little dance!) or a playful cat having a boogie (and a little disagreement) with the snowman.
For parents, the pleasure comes from hearing the moving iconic Howard Blake score brought to life by the live orchestra and accompanied with the beautifully dazzling and highly talented dancers. There’s also the brilliantly bright colours in the set design, the intricately detailed costumes and the lack of dialogue which is perfect for very little people as they can use their imagination to propel themselves into the story.
My only hesitation with the show (which remains the same each year) is the portrayal of an outdated version of family life – like a leap back in time into a 50’s advertisement version of how families should look; very Stepford Wives and less Modern Family. The silver lining is that things are changing and this year there is some more diversity in the cast from the very talented Ethan Sokontwe who recently completed his training at The Lion King Cub Academy.
Despite this the show remains a go-to and a family favourite: we have visited several times. I love that they add to the immersive elements of the production with falling snow, a visit from Santa and lots more. It is fun way to get into the festive spirit and a great way to introduce young Londoners to theatre, music and dance.
The Snowman is on at Peacock Theatre until 2 January 2022 at 11am, 2.30pm & 7pm and tickets are from £18 to £55. More info and booking on www.sadlerswells.com