Spectacular stage show The Snowman dances into town this month
Prepare to be whisked off to a winter wonderland when heart-warming stage show The Snowman flies into Milton Keynes Theatre.
Based on the celebrated 1982 animated film, which was inspired by Raymond Briggs’ 1978 children’s book, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production portrays the adventure a young boy enjoys when he and his snowman share a magical night of friendship, fun and flying.
The Snowman stage show is presented annually in London at The Peacock Theatre and has become a much-loved festive tradition for audiences. The five-week Christmas 2017 run marked the production’s 20th year at the West End venue, making it the longest-running Christmas show in English theatre history.
In November 2017, the cast toured the show to Manchester and Glasgow. The tour resumes this month, with The Snowman’s first ever visit to Milton Keynes scheduled after a stop at Southampton and before a run in Brighton.
Directed by Bill Alexander, The Snowman story is told onstage entirely through music and dance. Each performance is brought to life by seventeen dancers, five musicians and twenty stagehands.
The production features a musical score by the film’s composer Howard Blake, with highlights including onstage carol singers and the classic theme song, ‘Walking in the Air’.
Robert North’s choreography for this dance theatre production draws primarily on classical ballet, with jazz and contemporary dance influences too.
Dancer James Leece is one of the performers alternating the title role and I had a chat with him about the show.
He said: “Bringing The Snowman to audiences outside London is exciting. It’s like The Lion King in that it is based on the film, but the stage show is famous in its own right too and taking more bookings than ever.”
James’ two young children, five-year-old Isabella and two-year-old Albie, are big fans of the show. As an experienced performer and a father, James believes the mixture of dancing, storytelling and spectacle makes The Snowman a captivating production for the whole family.
He explains: “It is just magic for the kids and nostalgic for us grown-ups.”
Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes with one interval.
Age guidance: 3+
The Snowman visits Milton Keynes Theatre from Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 January 2018.
I wrote previews for:
Update 19 January 2018: Read my review of The Snowman at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.