Tuesday, 22 December 2015

REVIEW - Slava's Snowshow


MAGICAL is the only word to describe Slava's Snowshow. This amazing spectacle, which is back at the Southbank Centre for a fifth year, is beautiful, colourful and imersive. It is also funny, poignant, engaging and oodles of fun.
The show, which has been wowing audiences around the world for the past 20 years, was conceived by Slava Polunin.
It features about seven clowns all but one of whom are dressed in long grey overcoats with hats to match, extra long shoes and bright red noses.
The other one, who is on stage most of the time, is dressed in what looks like a yellow baby gro. He doesn't wear a hat but sports red fluffy shoes and a red nose.
But what the show is exactly is a tricky one to answer because it doesn't fit any particular genre. It's not panto, although there are elements of panto, it's not dance, although there are certainly elements there too and it's not a circus show, although it is performed by clowns who create mischief and mayhem and make us laugh out loud.
By and large they do not utter a sound although it is all set to a musical score that is both hauntingly beautiful and varied - ranging from pop to classical.
It is also not a magic show despite there being some fantastic magical moments. It is perhaps a combination of all of them and it makes for a superb theatrical experience.
There are various scenes which all connect with one another and show a childlike voyage of discovery which is utterly charming.
One of the best scenes was when the yellow-dressed clown had a conversation with himself via two big, fluffy telephones. Another was when he had an emotional relationship with a coat on a hat stand.
Gestures are subtle and even the raising of an eyebrow had the audience laughing one minute and gasping the next.
Other highlights include the audience being sprayed with water as the clowns roam amongst us, being shrouded in a giant cobweb, playing with some enormous coloured balloons and being caught in a blizzard.
Beautifully choreographed and crafted it is a fabulous show and a treat from start to finish.

Slava's Snowshow is on at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre until January 3. Tickets cost from £20. Visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk or call the box office on 020 7960 4200.

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