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Slava’s Snowshow – Southbank Winter Festival review at Royal Festival Hall London

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Now in its third consecutive year here, Slava’s Snowshow is becoming a Christmas fixture. And what better way to headline the Southbank’s Centre Winter Festival than with a show all about snow?

But where’s Slava? His baleful look and general air of vulnerability suit the yellow clown to a T, but – at 63; it’s not that old – he often plays a less taxing role. That aside, Artem Zhimolokhov is one of the clowns who fills his red fluffy slippers effectively. The other seven are unnamed green clowns, with bulbous red noses.

On a set of midnight blue hanging padded panels, a series of simple and whimsical sketches unfolds, often in slow-mo. Always visually arresting, it is mostly very gentle stuff with evocative sounds and few words. It’s elemental, with ethereal clouds, a glitter storm, wind and clown ‘rain’. The general silliness is magical; a shark on a skateboard that barks, a Brief Encounter with a coat and a giant lighted orb that briefly nudges onstage.

There’s more crazy fun during the interval when the clowns go wild in the audience. Without spoiling the surprises that are its main selling points, sitting in the stalls allows full interaction rather then sideline longing.

The consensus remains, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Production Information

Royal Festival Hall, London, December 17-January 6

Slava Polunin
Cast includes
Artem Zhimolokhov, Aelita West, Ivan Polunin
Running time
1hr 25mins

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