This is my fifth time seeing Slava's Snow Show over an 8 year period and the actual snowy scene I first saw in 2006 as part of Cirque du Soleil's Alegria in the Royal Albert Hall - it blew me away and made me a lifelong fan of Russian and Eastern European clowning - as far from the British version as you can possibly imagine.
I think, in the early days, I perhaps saw it a bit too often so I was glad of a long break and of the chance to see it again and I was delighted to find that it is still one hell of a show! The highlight moment (no spoilers!) was more effective than when last I saw this on stage and made me tingle - it is without doubt the most purely theatrical and powerful bit of staging I know, in any show. Knowing what was coming, we sat and took it whilst those around us squealed in delight and turned away - this is one to take full in the face if you want maximum thrill!
The first half of the show is a series of small stories between the greens and the yellows, these are each quite magical - entertaining for the children in the audience and thought provoking for the adults. I love them and the end of the first act is quite special with the whole audience becoming involved. though the spider moment was lost on much of the audience around us as they were too involved in the web - a shame.
The second half is essentially the Snow Show proper, a magical tale told with breathtaking skill. Having seen it before I know the story, it used to make me cry but seemed to have lost its power in the translation to this stage. The narrative has become disjoint, the loss of the little train and the now fleeting village mean we do not feel the full power of the journey and I'm afraid that the final demise was completely lost - to say I miss the death in the clowning sounds strange but when seen in its entirety this is a completely overwhelming piece of theatre.
There are many really magical moments in this show and I would urge anyone who loves theatre to see it at least once in their life to get a feel for exactly how touching and entertaining clowing can be ... stay through the interval and linger when the show is over, there are some experiences that I promise you will never forget.