Thursday, 16 January 2020

Review: The Snowman at Milton Keynes Theatre

The cherished tale of The Snowman arrived at Milton Keynes Theatre this week, bringing with it a wonderful sense of nostalgia for all of us that have loved watching this classic on TV throughout our childhoods – and still do every year when it airs at Christmas time!

This stage adaptation is a ballet, there is no talking or singing, only dance and clever acting/movements to take you through each scene and set to the classic music we all know and love including ‘Walking in the Air’. It’s a wonderful introduction to ballet for those that haven’t been to one before, particularly for children. All children in the audience at last night’s performance were enthralled by the magic of the show; with many on the edge of their seats and dancing along with Father Christmas’ solo in Act 2.

It does feel an odd time of year for such a festive show, if only it could have been on in November instead, ahead of the Panto season. It did however provide a wonderful and magical evening to an otherwise dull, grey day in January! 

Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of The Snowman has been delighting audiences in the UK and abroad since 1993 when artistic director Bill Alexander approached Howard Blake to ask how he would feel about creating a full length stage version; and the show opened for Christmas that same year with immediate success. The story follows very closely to the original book by Raymond Briggs and the 1982 TV short with music composed by Howard Blake.

The full cast and orchestra were brilliant and I can highly recommend a trip to see this one, especially families with small children. The flying scene (set of course to Walking in the Air) was skilfully executed and performed as they flew across the skies, through the clouds, over the oceans and towards the moon before reaching their destination at the North Pole.

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