Based on Raymond Briggs’ wordless book and its associated film, the live stage version of The Snowman has been delighting children at the Peacock Theatre since 1998. Now in its 15th annual season, the Christmas treat is as magical as ever, with plenty to enthral youngsters.
Staged beautifully with projected images of falling snow, we follow the story of James as his carefully crafted snowman comes to life and takes him on a dreamlike adventure. Inside the house, our title character wiggles his bottom in an oversized fridge and a similarly enormous coconut, banana and pineapple enjoy a limbo competition. Then across snowy forests, James and snowman fly through the air to meet and dance with Father Christmas, an Ice Princess and other frosty characters.
As an adult, it’s easy to be underwhelmed by this production; it lacks the high-quality choreography and humour to make it appealing to all. But for the under-10 age group at which it is aimed, The Snowman is irresistible. Wide-eyed children abound in the audience, waving at the characters onstage, giggling as Santa falls over and seeming utterly captivated by their experience.
Though the performance put us in the Christmas spirit, it didn’t give us the heart-warming glow of other festive dance shows like The Nutcracker. But if you have young children, we can’t think of a better theatrical trip to celebrate this joyful season.
Photo: Alastair Muir