I’ve never liked the word ‘amazeballs’ there’s something grating about it. But Slava’s Snow Show, currently on at The Bristol Hippodrome, is the one and only time the word actually applies. There are literally plenty of amazeballs and they bounce around the auditorium in a mesmerising, magical way at the end of this immersive and wonderful show.
This is theatre at its simplest and possibly most effective. Barely a word is uttered throughout the entire performance. It all relies on the simplest of looks, movements and beautiful effects with lights, balls, paper snow and bubbles.
It’s like being immersed in a children’s picture book – something like Raymond Briggs with the humour, communication and characters you might find in an episode of Pingu.
The entire stalls is enveloped in a giant cobweb at the end of Act One. During the interval, clowns make it rain on theatre goers and when you hear the start of O Fortuna towards the end of the show, watch out, because an epic blizzard is coming.
The show features an ensemble of maudlin clowns who take us through a series of short scenes. Some are funny, some are touching. Some feel a little tragic. Some are very surreal. There’s the trapeze artist who glides across the stage in a haze of glitter. Do we question it? No, because it’s spellbinding.
The show has been touring since 1993. It was created and staged by Slava Polunin with 8 actors who play the Yellow Clown and Green Clowns.
The show is timeless. It transcends all barriers and all languages. It has a universal embrace. This show is for everyone no matter who they are and what the background. How often do we get something like this come along in theatre? Not very often.
Food and drink will not be allowed to be consumed in the auditorium during the show. With the amount of paper snow everywhere, it’s a fair deal. The production company recommends the show for children aged 8 years and over though six years feels a little better. It’s not a total rumpus or pantomime throughout and many of the moments rely on a quiet stillness. Children under three years of age are not permitted to attend. Probably because it would be a choking hazard.
This show is also particularly ideal for children with Autism or Aspergers. There is the sensory element of it, but also the lack of ambiguity in communication between the clowns, a lack of effects, surprise and the total lack of spoken language means you can take this show at face value and understand it. The sound may be a bit loud for those with sensory sensitivity in this area, so do take ear defenders as usual.
Slava’s Snow Show is at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 02 December 2017. It’s such a cliche to write that something is a must-see, but this is a must-see. There’s nothing like it. Just imagine this being your child’s first experience of the theatre. Throwing snow, ducking from spider web, hitting giant balls up to the very roof of the Bristol Hippodrome. They will never forget it.
For more information and to book tickets, visit: www.atgtickets.com/bristol