Birmingham Rep – until 15 January 2017
The Snowman is a classic festive tale which you can usually count on catching on the telly over Christmas. The live stage version at Birmingham Repertory Theatre provides a beautiful, elegant and engaging light ballet version of the popular story and was the perfect January family pick me up.
Just like in the film, there is no speech exchanged and in this production all interaction between the characters was mimed to the tune of stunning musical accompaniment provided by the orchestra. The effects used to create the illusion of a snowy day provided a spectacular backdrop to the action.
The relationship between the Snowman and the boy is at the heart of the tale and the chemistry between Cameron James Sutherland (the boy) and James Leece (the Snowman) meant that they formed a believable partnership. The friendship which developed between the two was a joy to watch and I’m sure would have melted the hardest of hearts. It certainly captured and held the attention of my three year old Son.
Comedy was present in its abundance with the boy’s bumbling father acting the fool and some hilarious antics with the family cat when encountered by the unwitting Snowman. Then there’s a quick fiesta with some fruit from the fridge, who’d have thought we would be so entertained by a giant coconut, pineapple and banana? It sounds like the stuff of bad dreams, yet there it was happening before our eyes and the little scene had the audience in raptures.
It wouldn’t be The Snowman if the two main characters didn’t fly, and fly they did – seamlessly and gloriously as the ‘world’ below them was reduced to a miniature size as they made their way to party central with Santa and co.!
The cast were all exceptionally talented and whether they were playing forest creatures or other snowmen (and women!) I felt that we were being given an outstanding performance by each and every one of them. In particular, Federico Casadei as the Dad and Father Christmas, Hannah Flynn as Mum and Scotty Snowman amongst other characters, Russell Fine as Cowboy Snowman, Soldier and Pineapple.
It will make you smile, laugh, cry and if it really gets to you, it will restore an iota of festive spirit which has been left behind in 2016. It’s not staying in Birmingham for long – and might be replaced by real snow soon if weather reports are to be believed, so catch this epic show while you can.