The Snowman is a children’s picture book created by Raymond Briggs and was first published in 1978. The Snowman was televised as a 26-minute animated adaptation on the 26th of December 1982, Channel 4, and it conquered many people’s hearts thereon. It is also a production that has graced The Birmingham Repertory Theatre since 1993. ★★★
The story revolves around a boy who builds a snowman one winter’s day, and on the same night, at the stroke of twelve, the snowman comes to life. He and the boy play with appliances, toys and other objects that could be found in boy’s home. They then venture out to explore the world, from the Brighton Pier to the Arctic landscape, floating in mid-air to the famous track ‘Walking in the Air. Towards the end, they meet Father Christmas who gives the boy a snowman scarf, and all together party with him and with the other critters. The ending is as renowned as the story itself, with tragedy befalling the boy when he wakes up to find his new friend melted from the morning sun.
The production came to life with a very ambitious set design and effects. We were welcomed with the sight of lights against a black blind which made it look as though it was snowing heavily. It was a good job it was warm inside the theatre, for it looked so real.
The costume of this show was a highlight for me as well as the physicality of the cast, the way they moved around and danced was spectacular. The boy who was played this evening by Oscar Couchman did a very good job in using his imagination to portray the fantasy around him, and had great energy while he jumped, climbed and danced his way through.
Personally, I felt that the show progressed slowly, as meaningless scenes were being stretching out, making some parents and audiences lose attention, but I’m sure the children had a magical time.
The Snowman run at The Birmingham Rep until 24th January, 0121 236 4455
by Alex DaSilva | @AlexMDaSilva