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Slava’s Snowshow, Royal Festival Hall, review: ‘Clowning of the highest quality, as much dark melancholy as humour’

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 December 2017

Slava's Snow Show

Slava's Snow Show

Archant

For pure spectacle, and immersion in an alternative dreamlike theatrical world, it’s hard to beat

I’ve returned to this unique theatrical experience year after year with successive offspring, but it never fails to thrill and surprise. Kids love the playful, participatory elements as giant inflatable balls, earlier glimpsed as menacing shapes, are launched into the audience, who bat them around.

Clad in floppy hats and giant shoes, Slava Polunin and his Russian clowns have created the perfect festive spectacle.

Packed with memorable images, their only language is of the body, in a series of cleverly worked, highly choreographed sketches it is clowning of the highest quality, boasting as much dark melancholy as humour. this year angels were particularly unsettling. They gracefully bob and weaving to avoid being knocked down by each other’s hats, run over the backs of seats, spray us with water, and pull a giant web over our heads.

For pure spectacle, and immersion in an alternative dreamlike theatrical world, it’s hard to beat, and the finale, with blinding lights, a wind machine, tonnes of tickertape and Carmina Burana create an exhilirating real life snowstorm in the Festival Hall.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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