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Slava’s Snowshow: Christmas magic

The Christmas magic you've been waiting for

by Bernadette Fallon

"Born of dreams and fairytale/a theatre ritualistic and magical, a festive spectacle/a theatre arising from images and gestures, from play and imagination/a theatre where spectators and actors create together"


This is the play that Slava Polunin has created – a show that is now rated as a classic of our times, with thousands of Snowshows performed in hundreds of cities to millions of spectators since 1993.


It’s a visual spectacle, a story told without words to the backdrop of a powerful soundtrack of songs, music and repetitive rhythms. Slips of tiny white paper pieces all over the auditorium when we enter set the scene for the ‘storm’ to come, a single snowflake fluttering to the ground as the play progresses is a tantalising taste of the fantastical finale.


Never has the word ‘play’ been more apt to describe what is happening in the Royal Festival Hall between now and January 6. It’s a play between actors and audience, where the audience are gently drawn in but never made to feel uncomfortable; a play on familiar gestures and normal interactions; a play on humour and comedy, so funny in places I thought the small boy sitting in front of me was going to have a seizure from laughing so hard.


It’s much more than the sum of its parts. Its short scenes and stories – some heartfelt and poignant, some hilarious, most a mixture of all three – blend to create a perfect ‘experience’, which is the experience of feeling happy and sad, the experience of feeling puzzled, of being forced to think, of laughing out loud. It’s the experience of wonder, the experience of fun and the chance to experience, once more, childlike delight and happiness.


And afterwards, outside the theatre, it’s easy to spot the people who’ve been to the show by the smiles on their faces, even in the cold driving wind and sleeting rain – snowflakes escaping the building on jackets and bags. This is the Christmas magic we have been waiting for.

Slava’s Snowshow runs at London’s Royal Festival Hall until January 6; book tickets online at www.southbankcentre.co.uk or phone the box office 0844 875 0073. Recommended for children aged 8 and over.


For great value London hotel accommodation and tickets to top shows at discounted prices - visit www.superbreak.com

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