Reviewed by Rebecca Banasko
I went to see The Snow Dragon with my 5-year-old son. The recommended age was for 3+ and I wasn’t sure whether it would be suitable for my 2-year-old, so it was just the two of us. The Lowry is a great venue to visit with parking at the shopping centre just opposite, great local transport links and incredibly friendly and helpful staff. It’s a really family friendly venue and one of my favourites to visit.
We were seated in the Studio theatre where the setting looked quite mystical with a backdrop of white trees. The show, put on by the Tall Stories Theatre Company, was made up of just 3 actors playing a range of characters with very simple costume changes for each character. I’d read a little about the story beforehand and thought the timing of it was great, so close to Christmas to help me drive home the message to my little boy.
The story was about a goat, Billy, played by Danny Hendrix. Billy was an excitable and inquisitive goat who was looking forward to the yearly New Year’s Eve visit from the ‘The Snow Dragon’ who, in exchange for berries would leave Billy a present – according to his parents. However, there were no berries left at home. So after a talk about being number 1 at everything he does and a stark warning about wolves in the woods after dark Billy’s rather hard-hearted parents (played by Amy Harris and Glyn Williams) sent him out into the woods alone, to find some berries for the nights offering (or to fill their tummies). On his hunt Billy bumped into a couple of friends, a short-sighted Hedgehog and an overly-affectionate pig. Their conversations lead Billy to realise that there were some differences in the stories their parents had been telling them about the New Year’s offering and who it was for. So to cover his back Billy sneakily took his friends goodies and left them stranded in the woods.
However, a meeting with some wolves made Billy rethink his actions. But would he be able to put right what he had done before the Snow Dragon came that evening. After all, his parents never even mentioned the need to be good in return for his present. He was number 1 after all and so deserved any present that he got – or did he?
My son was on the edge of his seat throughout the performance and literally did not move. The various characters played by both Amy and Glyn were evident immediately in the instant change of demeanour, voices and accents and was done so skilfully, it was fascinating to watch. Danny’s character Billy was a child that was relatable to many in the pure greed to get what he wanted but the desire to also be nice. The story was great and even after questioning my 5-year-old the next day he seemed to have really absorbed it and took away the main message – much to my delight!
We both really enjoyed The Snow Dragon, with its festive message and catchy songs it was a joy to watch. I’m giving it a 5/5 as I think this is a must see at this time of year for all children and great for all the family.
Tall Stories are currently on tour with The Snow Dragon, for more information and tour dates visit www.tallstories.org.uk.
For other shows at The Lowry in Manchester visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000