REVIEW: THE SNOWMAN (Milton Keynes Theatre) ★★★★
There’s something about The Snowman that really stirs up feelings of nostalgia. Whether it’s the heart wrenching feeling when he’s melted, or the song that evokes this emotion, I’m not really sure. All I know is that my family watch this film every December without fail.
With something so poignant and beloved as Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman, I did wonder how it could possibly be portrayed on stage without losing the magic. However, it did not disappoint.
As with the book and the film, there is no dialogue and the story is told through the music and action. The boy James (Cameron James Sutherland) builds a Snowman (Martin Fenton), who comes to life and transports him to Lapland where he meets other snowmen and Father Christmas.
The production is short, but there are elements of it that have been extended to make it more of a show. In James’ house his toys come to life and dance, which is a chance for Tomoyo Jequier to shine, and this is a truly beautiful scene.
However, when they are in the kitchen, the fridge opens and a banana, pineapple and coconut also start to dance. This was a little strange, not least because surely very few people keep coconuts and bananas in the fridge?
But the flying! When they soared into the air and the music began, the children gasped and the adults brushed away a tear. It’s the perfect end to Act I.
Act II introduces penguins, reindeer and all sorts, with plenty of ballet and more contemporary dance. The costumes are fantastic; the music divine.
Although parts of it are a bit cheesy (and at one point the father is seen filling a Christmas stocking, which perhaps ruins the idea of Santa for an audience full of children), nothing can detract from the magic of this beautiful Christmas story.
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes
Photo: Tristram Kenton