The Snowman Peacock Theatre – our review
The Snowman – a perennial seasonal favourite – runs from 23 November to 30 December 2017 at London’s Peacock Theatre. This review is from 2016.
On Saturday 26 November Chiswick Boy and I attended the very magical production of The Snowman at London’s Peacock Theatre. (We were given review tickets.)
We’re great fans of the film (who could not be enchanted by the timeless wordless tale of a boy and his snowman on Christmas Eve) and I knew that the performance would be magical but it still managed to enchant and bewitch us.
Now if this was a review for the Times arts pages, say, then I’d be telling you about the virtuosso performances of the Birmingham Repertory, the gorgeous en pointe solos and the homely domestic scenes recreated on stage.
And those things are true. But this is review for a family lifestyle blog and I’m guessing you want to know what I’d want to know: what’s it really like for kids, will they love it, what ages go to it, is it a magical full on Christmas treat, or a little extra.
A magical Snowman treat for all ages
Firstly – I’ll say that this is something for all ages. That’s such a cliche isn’t it – if I had a fiver for every review I’d read of a London show that says ‘a delight for all ages’. But it happens to be true in this case.
There were families with children of all ages in the audience. I saw a woman (with no other adult to help, she deserves a sainthood and needs to write a book on how she does it) with three pre-schoolers and a young toddler in arms.
Then behind me there were a couple of 20-somethings, even more excited than the toddlers!
Seeing the Snowman with kids? Catch an early showing if you can
In pre-child days all you want from a theatre is silence and seriousness.
In post-child days, if you’re anything like me, all you sit praying for is that your child isn’t the noisiest one in the audience. Because children cannot be silent in the theatre.
I’m not talking about children being ill-behaved – running in the auditorium or playing Angry Birds on an iPhone or chucking sweets at the orchestra pit.
No, I’m talking about the magic of theatre where children are compelled by an unseen tugging of the heart strings to gasp, and ooh and ah, and tug on their parents’ shoulders to ask questions. In short, for children to be at an age where they really ‘get’ theatre, before intellectualism and a sense of culture ruin them!
Magical moments making magical memories
The best moment for me? The one where Chiswick Boy, 8-going-on-9, gasped involuntarily ‘oh’, as the Snowman and the Boy began to rise in the air and take flight.
That was for me a moment I’ll remember forever – when the magic of childhood, the magic of Christmas and the magic of theatre combined into one perfect moment.
My second best moment? When Chiswick Boy took my hand outside as we were leaving and said ‘I cried a real tear when the Snowman…’ (Well I won’t finish his sentence just in case you don’t know what happens. Although my goodness you’d need to live in a Completely book, film and Christmas free universe to not know the story of the Snowman.’
My third best moment? When I cried my own real tears when the first notes of ‘Walking in the Air’ filled the theatre.
In summary? A wonderful Christmas show that was magical from beginning to end. We left feeling as though we really were walking on air.
The Snowman is on at the Peacock Theatre until the 1 January 2017.
A short PS
I was given press tickets to review the Snowman.I’ve mentioned this several times on my blog, but going to the theatre in London is incredibly expensive and I worry that it is prohibitively so for most London families.
Putting on a show costs a fortune, I know. But I’d love to see a way of getting low-income families to the theatre – perhaps by adding £1 onto ticket prices for a low-income reduced ticket fund, or getting the Mayor of London to sponsor each child in London to get free tickets to shows. And I particularly hope that refugee children who’ve come to London with nothing get a chance to see some of the wonderful shows that London has to offer.
Come on Sadiq!