Slava’s Snowshow has been travelling around the globe since 1993. Since then hundreds of countries have experienced the snowstorm with millions of children being enchanted by the yellow clown at the center of the stage.
With such a history behind it I expected this clowning show to be a little more impressive. The simple movements and sketches had a theatricality behind them that just often wasn’t realised effectively on stage. There was a sense of cleverness to the production however it never quite managed to reach it’s full potential. Possibly what added to its confusion was its uncertainty about whether it was a child’s performance or an adult. There were numerous occasions throughout the show where a sketch dragged on and it’s comedy was lost. One of particular note was the scene with the telephones where the first few instances of the yellow clown changing between a female and a male voice was entertaining but subsequent efforts quickly became repeated offenses.
The company were talented in clowning but their characters needed refinement. I particularly enjoyed the sequences where the green clowns got more stagetime. Their under developed undefined characters were a bundle of joy with many pranks and tricks engaging the audience and keeping them on side. The yellow clown had numerous individual appearances some of which were entertaining but often were overindulgent and failed to truly capture the imagination.
Towards the end I got the sense that the storyline and enthusiasm of the clowns was hiding behind a huge production budget. With numerous snow effects, giant spotlights that blinded the audience and a massive wind machine there was little way to see the yellow clown on stage – instead the audience was covered in pieces of paper.
Sadly by the end of the show, I had laughed at intervals throughout the performance but was left wanting. I had entered with such high hopes for this production that is finishing its 24th year of production and was disappointed. The children appeared to enjoy it but that might have been from the final instant gratification of giant floating balls.