Reviewed by Emily Crombie
The Christmas season well and truly started at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow last night with The Birmingham Repertory Theatre Production’s stage adaptation of The Snowman.
Based on the much-loved book by Raymond Briggs, The Snowman picture book was published in 1978. The book has no words and won many awards for its illustration. It has since been made into a short film which again has no words except for the famous song Walking in the Air.
In this stage version the Boy awakens to find that snow has fallen and he builds a snowman that comes alive during the night. The Boy takes the Snowman on a tour of his house. In the living room they meet his cat (who isn’t quite sure of the Snowman and definitely doesn’t like his tail being pulled!) then the tropical fruit from the fridge in the kitchen dance and limbo with the pair. A quick dressing up session in Dad and Mum’s bedroom (while making sure the Snowman doesn’t waken them) and onto the playroom where the toys come alive – the ballerina from the windup music box, the marching toy soldier and the teddy bear.
The Boy shows the Snowman this dad’s motorbike with sidecar, taking it for a run they meet many animals in the wood. Act one ends as the Snowman and the Boy take to the sky to the sound of Walking in The Air.
They continue their journey through the sky as act two opens and the Snowman shows the Boy his world at the North Pole which is full of dancing penguins, snowman friends from around the world and Father Christmas. Jack Frost arrives to the party causing havoc, but the Snowman and his friends stop his capers and Father Christmas puts him in his place! The time has come for the Boy and the Snowman to return home but by morning the Snowman has melted and all that is left is his hat and scarf.
The show is beautifully staged giving the feeling you are within a snow globe and the falling snow at the end was loved especially by the younger members of the audience!
My seven-year-old girls enjoyed The Snowman, it took them a little while to get over the fact there were no words but they were captivated throughout and fascinated by how the actors could tell the story in so much detail without using any words. We sat in the front row of the dress circle with an excellent view and had the added bonus of being able to see some of the musicians in the orchestra pit.
The longevity of The Snowman is quite remarkable and testament to its timeless values in this technological age. The Snowman continues to run this week at the Theatre Royal with performances at 7pm on Friday, 1.30pm and 5pm on Saturday and 11am and 3pm on Sunday.
The show is highly suitable for all members of the family and a wonderful gentle introduction to theatre for little ones.
Tickets cost from £13 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
The Snowman is at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow from 13-17 November 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-glasgow or call the box office on 0844 871 7647.
Theatre Royal, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 3QA | 0844 871 7647