Music & Lyrics: Howard Blake
Director: Bill Alexander
Sadler’s Wells have taken The Snowman, a childhood Christmas classic, and transformed it into an enchanting dance experience for all the family to enjoy.
The tale is a familiar one and begins with a young boy crafting a snowman in his garden. Late at night the snowman comes alive, taking the boy on a magical adventure; exploring his home with a new set of eyes, interacting with woodland creatures, and soaring through the sky to attend a winter party under the stars with lots of special guests.
Following the exact same script as the traditional Raymond Briggs story, it’s hard to fault. Simplistic yes, but complex and nuanced is not what you’re after at a show like The Snowman. You want the awe that comes when the boy and the snowman float up into the air alongside the song that everyone’s been waiting for, you want the warm feeling of friendship between the boy and his new chilly companion, and you want the feeling of festivity that is most definitely present on the stage throughout the performance. While a potential romance between Jack Frost and the ice princess gets a frosty pantomime style boo from the audience, the scenes between Father Christmas and the boy are sweet enough to make you melt.
Ruari Murchinson’s design transports you straight into a winter wonderland. With snowflakes falling from the sky against the background of the cosy family home it immediately makes the audience feel like they’re part of a fairy-tale. The shift between each scene is sometimes a little too long with the stage being eclipsed into darkness, but the intriguing transformation between each backdrop draws everyone’s attention back again immediately.
Director Bill Alexander and choreographer Robert North have developed the perfect harmony between the cast on stage, with the dancers gliding alongside each other as though they are skating on ice, accompanying Howard Blake’s music and lyrics perfectly. The boy played by Jax Fenner is impressive for his age, exuding energy and appearing just as mesmerised with everything around him as the audience is. Ana Freire is also immaculate in her roles as the ice princess and music box ballerina, dancing with elegance, grace and precision. The live score is the icing on top of the cake, charming the audience into a snowy state of bliss.
So if you’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit, look no further than Peacock Theatre for some family festive fun. It’s snow surprise that this classic show keeps coming back and entertaining year after year.
Runs until 2 January 2022