The Snowman live stage show based on Raymond Briggs’ original book.
Music and lyrics by Howard Blake
We ran last minute into the hustle and bustle. It seemed everybody was running late. We grabbed our tickets and hurried forth into the auditorium. We’d been given superb seats, 10 rows or so back from the centre of the stage. The atmospheric lighting and stage sets, the projected falling snowdrops, the multi-layered circular sets were a masterstroke – serving to create anticipation and wonder.
I went to this stage version with no preconceptions. Really I wanted the kids to like it. Our little one-year-old fluxling has developed a fascination with the Snowman dvd bordering on obsession so I was keen to see how he reacted to the stage version. The young actor who played James pulled it all off with ease. The snowman though is the real star and all eyes and attention are focussed on him. The actor / dancer played the character with mischief and a sense of fun that went down well with the young audience who yelped and cheered in all the right places. The real gasp of awe though came from when James and the Snowman leapt up and flew into the air. Technically it was brilliant and the two actors moved in such a way that they looked as if they really were flying. The emotional impact was enhanced by the live orchestral rendition of the song ‘Walking in the Air’.
Though it was a great experience one moment did manage to rankle me. Call me a purist but when the snowman developed a sudden passionate urge for the snow fairy who had joined in the dance in Father Christmas Land I was baffled. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind a new twist and turn and every director need to be able to apply their mark but does the Snowman really need a love interest?
But overall it was a real feast for the senses and a magical night for the kids. The grand finale saw more dance sequences and a lovely flourish as it began to snow from the roof of the auditorium much to the delight of fluxling #1 and open mouthed wonder of our little one year old fluxling #2.
A video of The Snowman can be viewed by clicking here http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/about/snowman-home/videos/