This past weekend, our family had the perfect kick off to the festive period with a visit to see The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre.
Being a big family career trend, going to the theatre was staple of my childhood. But we haven’t done much theatre with the boys yet.
Arlo’s theatre debut earlier this year was a bit hit and miss – the show was aimed at children a year or so older, but he’s usually pretty good at following plots, and it was about unicorns so who wouldn’t get on board with that? I realised I’d misjudged ever so slightly when Arlo asked me “Why haven’t we seen any unicorns yet, all I keep seeing is a dead goat”. Apparently an unicorn’s horn can also be interpreted as a spear to impale livestock.
I had much higher hopes for our second theatre attempt. There’s a reason the story of the Snowman is such a classic. It’s simple, yet it so effectively captures the imagination of a young child. A boy creates a snowman who comes to life and whisks him off on an incredible adventure. It’s about Christmas, magic, fulfilling your wildest dreams, and it’s about friendship. No matter how many times you’ve seen it, the ending is always emotional.
The Birmingham Repertory’s stage production of the Snowman is just beautifully done. The set design is enchantingly festive – if you want to feel Christmassy, The Snowman will undoubtedly do it to you.
The almost two hour run time (with interval) was daunting. I wasn’t even sure how well my eldest (5) would cope, and I was most certainly expecting to have to make an early exist with my youngest (2.5). I assumed the target audience would be a few years older than my two, so when we arrived at the theatre to see the majority of our fellow theatre-goers were also toddlers and young school children, I immediately felt at ease.
A credit to The Snowman – both my children sat utterly transfixed from start to finish. I was expecting their attentions to wane towards the end, but all I got from Arlo was “Can we come back and watch it again next year, because I really love it”. Rory was equally engaged. I think a large part of it was down to the fast-pace of the performance – with a different character or a new scene introduced every couple of minutes. I’d say the ideal age would be four and upwards, but if your younger child can happily sit through a feature length film, that’s a good marker of whether they are ready for The Snowman.
There were some lovely scenes with Father Christmas. And a special mention to the shimmying coconut. SPOILER ALERT: The end scene features a rather magical snowfall and if you are sitting in rows A – G of the stalls you will be in prime place for a confetti downpour.
The best bit for me was watching my boys watch in total awe from start to finish. It was such a pleasure to introduce them to a classic Christmas story in such a big way. We absolutely loved our trip to the theatre to see The Snowman.
Our tickets were complimentary.