Theatre review: The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre

A faithful production of a childhood classic this Christmas

Raymond Briggs’ classic tale of a young boy and his magical snowman companion has become a Christmas institution since it first appeared on screen in 1982.

With a classic score and beautiful animation it captures perfectly the innocence of a childhood Christmas.

Although the Peacock theatre is not the most aesthetically pleasing of the downtown theatres, every effort has been made to fill it with Christmas cheer with clever lighting depicting snow tumbling over the dormant stage before the show and during the interval.

This production by Sadler’s Wells follows Briggs’ book pretty faithfully.

A young lad wakes after a snowy night to find his garden transformed into a winter wonderland. He builds a frosty pal who comes to life the following night. Capers ensue as the pair run riot through the house, take a motorbike for a spin through the forest, and eventually fly to Lapland to meet Father Christmas.

The moment the pair build up speed and then soar into the winter sky with “Walking in the Air” in full voice is goose-bump inducing.

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Upon landing, the duo meet Santa and a collection of snowmen from across the world, each conforming to a national stereotype.

Along with various woodland animals, they all perform a merry jig whilst evading the clutches of pantomime villain Jack Frost - the stand out dancer of the cast.

After he is dispatched with a surprise head butt, farewells are said and snowman and boy head home.

There are some differences to the cartoon - the stage version had a lot more dancing vegetables than the original if my memory serves me correctly - but overall this production encapsulates the magic of the original.

With some impressive silent performances this is as close to a guaranteed Christmas cracker for all the family as you will get.

* The Snowman is showing at the Peacock Theatre, in Portugal Street, N1, until January 8.