18th Nov to 30th Dec 2023
“Hold my hand. Close your eyes. Take a breath.
We’re going to take a magical flight you won’t forget.
Come with us on a wonderous adventure where we’ll meet all my friends – from an enchanted music box to a dancing pineapple. Take flight to the North Pole just in time for our Christmas party where snowpeople from around the world meet penguins, princesses, the fiendish Jack Frost, and of course Father Christmas himself. It might even snow…”
Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars
True to the story, we start with the Boy at home and see his parents doing ordinary stereo-typically old-fashioned things – dad smokes a pipe and falls asleep in his slippers, mum does the ironing. The Boy goes outside and builds a snowman and they all then go to bed.
The Boy wakes and go outside to bring the Snowman inside and show him where he lives. The Snowman likes the fridge and some of the contents come alive and dance. Tired out from this the Snowman sits in the lounge but the heater has been left on so he starts to melt. Luckily the Boy notices and being a caring soul he takes the Snowman to the freezer saving his life. And so the show continues – lots and lots of brilliant ideas and dances.
By the magic of theatre we’re transported into a magical kingdom. Or is it a dream? Who really knows?
Such an enchanting story, with a never-ending supply of imaginative creative ideas. Every scene reveals more fantastic animals, creatures and set pieces. With a production now in it’s 26th year this is the perfect addition for everyone’s Christmas.
It’s hard to believe that such a large terrific show can be installed into the underground Peacock theatre. There’s not only magic on-stage. A lot of the magic is backstage in stage managing so many different scenes every few minutes. With a lot of children in the audience for the matinee it’s a dynamic tapestry of characters and animals that kept the children in awe and wonder. Some definite highlights have to be the appearance of Father Christmas, likely the most energetic dancing Father Christmas you’ll ever discover. Hot on his heels for audience reaction is all the Snowmen and Snowwomen from many nations around the World, the penguins and the reindeers.
With nearly everyone in an animal costume it would be easy to over-look the skill of the dancers and the choreography. It is brilliantly choreographed and performed with the character and style embedded. It’s done so well it’s looks easy. It isn’t easy to do what they do – it’s terrific!
Without dialogue and the story told through imagery and dance, it’s a fantastic introduction to dance and the joy of theatre. The live band and backing tracks keep the pace and energy with some beautiful musical medley mix and mash, the occasional refrains of a few bars from the title song here and there, all building to the most magical moment to end the 1st half of the show. The Snowman takes the Boy’s hand and they fly.
Flying by Foy, leaders in their field, have created beautiful invisible attachments and the flying choreography perfectly matches the musicality. Such a grip of emotions after only 45 minutes of performance.
After the interval comes the arrival of the villainous Jack Frost. Dressed in frosty icicle fans and cool ballet tights he terrorises the kingdom and fights to gain the ballerina for himself. The snowmen battle and Father Christmas knows what’s what.
Tragically, the next morning when the Boy goes outside it’s a sunny day and the Snowman has melted. This is so sad. All that’s left are the hat, nose and scarf. But then the Boy discovers something from their adventures that lets us know it was all real!
I don’t think there are any shows out there that are so perfectly crafted and will entertain everybody no matter their age. Take your children, or if you don’t have any of your own, or yours have moved out, borrow someone else’s children and go see this Christmas Spectacular. Or, if you’re like me, go with an adult friend – you’ll love it!
Photo credit: Tristram Kenton
Tickets: Click here
The stage show based upon the book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates
Duration: 1 hr 50 mins (including one interval of 20 minutes)
Music and Lyrics by HOWARD BLAKE
Scenario by HOWARD BLAKE, BILL ALEXANDER & ROBERT NORTH
Lighting Designer TIM MITCHELL
Musical Director COSTAS FOTOPOULOS
Flying Effects by FLYING BY FOY LTD
Choreographer ROBERT NORTH
Music Supervisor HOWARD BLAKE
Sound Designer RICHARD BROOKER
Casting Director DEBBIE O’BRIEN
Copyright © Snowman Enterprises Limited 2023.
THE SNOWMAN™ is a trademark of Snowman Enterprises Ltd.
The Snowman Callum Andrew-Sterling & Martin Fenton
The Boy Oliver Benson, Raphael Korniets & Stanley Williams
Father Christmas / Dad / Dance Captain Ryan Upton
Ice Princess / Music Box Ballerina / Kung Fu Snowman / Reindeer Laura Boulter & Samantha Rodulfo
Jack Frost / Cowboy Snowman / Toy Soldier / Pineapple Barry Drummond
Jack Frost / Cowboy Snowman / Toy Soldier / Coconut Isaac Bowry
Scotty Snowman / Badger / Reindeer Misa Koide
Fred Astaire Snowman / Banana Bradley Applewhaite
Jolly Snowman / Cat / Squirrel / Reindeer Claire Lander
Tommy Cooper Snowman / Cat / Fox / Reindeer Katrina Kelly
Mum / Penguin / Teddy / Rabbit Kimberley Lawrie
Penguin / Teddy / Rabbit Pearl Okada
Badger / Reindeer / Swing Larissa Longsee
Swing Brodie Donougher & Emi Ichikawa
Producer Birmingham Rep Enterprises Ltd for Birmingham Rep Theatre Company
Original Sets, Props & Costumes by Birmingham Rep workshops
Lighting Equipment supplied by Encore
Sound Design by Richard Brooker Sound Design Ltd
Associate Sound Designer Chris Campbell
Associate Keyboard Programmer Emma James
Sound Equipment supplied by Autograph
Transport provided by Fly by Nite
Music Rights Chester Music Ltd & Highbridge Music Ltd
Use of Original Images Snowman Enterprises Ltd (A Penguin Company)
Costume Makers Fran Aldersion, Rose Chandler, Ashleigh Cherry, Ian Costello, Anna Edwards-McConway,
Applied Arts, Robin Dale, Hilary Slieman, Camiloa Stanford, Pat Farmer, Sarah Juliet Costumes & Bryony Lemon
Costume Alterations Natascha Mozley
Costume Dyer Gabrielle Firth
Hats made by Simon Dawes
Heads made by Robert Allsop
Foys Flying Crew Lydia Ford & Anita Sidurok
The original book of The Snowman was first published in 1978.
The original animated film was first broadcast in 1982.
Musicians / Backstage Musical Director / Piano Costas Fotopoulos
Assistant Musical Director / String Keys Gemma Hawkins
Wind /Brass Keyboard Louise Hunt
Flute / Piccolo Claire Findlater
Percussion Sam Walton
Production Manager Andy Beardmore
Company Stage Manager Felix Dunning
Deputy Stage Manager Carol Pestridge
Assistant Stage Manager Gabi Coomber & Bella Kelaidi
Keyboard Programmer Stuart Andrews
Sound Operator Iain Audsley
Production Electricians Andy Fidgeon & Gary Hoare
Costume Supervisor Jackie Orton
Wardrobe Manager Kat Day-Smith
Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Manager Kit Beaumont
Wardrobe Deputy Hannah Woodey
Wardrobe Assistant Abi Hulse
Chaperones Maria & Adam Linnell
Special Thanks Antony Edwards