Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Slava's Snow Show

Yesterday evening I went along to the Theatre Royal to see Slava's Snow Show. I'd never heard of the show until tickets were bought months back. To be honest I didn't think about it all that much, it was just a show about clowns. That is until recently when I mentioned it a couple of times to various people. Eyes lit up, there were cries of "oh, that's an amazing show!" or "I went two evenings last year, I'm going to try for three this year!" OK, I thought, so it's rather popular then.

I suspect that was my biggest understatement for a while now. I've never seen the Theatre Royal so full of people (although I admit I don't do panto which may well be extraordinarily popular for all I know). I was a little bemused by the quantity of white ticker tape on the floor, but was sure all would be explained shortly. Not only was it explained, it fell in abundance throughout the show and left me finding bits in my clothes until I got home. That's the kind of snow I like.

It became apparent as soon as the lights dropped and the music started that this was going to be something a little out of the ordinary. The colours are simply amazing, almost blindingly bright against the dark night background. Clowns come on, clowns go off, clowns chase each other, shoot each other with bow and arrows, soak certain members of the audience in water, climb over seats or along the edge of the circle high above the stalls. From the perfectly executed first half, we sink into further involvement on our return from the interval. Clowns are slowly working their way through the audience, falling on elderly ladies, stealing younger ladies and dragging them off stage. It is organised chaos and it is beautiful.

There is the elaborate balanced with the simple, longer stories balanced with fleeting sketches which last seconds yet make the audience burst into laughter. The barriers between audience and clowns are fully broken down at the end, when giant inflated balls are passed back and forth across the theatre. I did feel rather like an ant playing with a beach ball, although it did have the advantage of drying me off from my soaking earlier.

Watching the show is like seeing a fairy story played out before your eyes, a truly magical experience. Amusingly the second clown reminded me of my lovely friend Pete, who is also going to see the show this week. Unfortunately he is terrified of clowns, which I suspect may put a bit of a dampener on his evening, lets hope he manages to come out from hiding behind his hands for long enough to enjoy it.

The only thing I can say is Go See This Show! You will love it.

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