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The Snowman review at Peacock Theatre, London – ‘sadly falls short of magical’

Scene from The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre, London. Photo: Sadler's Wells

Larger-than life characters abound in the magical tale of a boy and his snowman who comes to life, as the popular Christmas story returns to Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre for its 18th season.

The show closely follows the TV adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ original tale, but while The Snowman has become a Christmas staple, it feels in need of a little more sparkle for it to really enchant. The first half runs along at a safe, steady pace, and while Mikey Hawkins’ boy is a sweet and likeable character, the choreography really needs updating to give the story, and its cast, a lift.

Moments of the show manage to evoke a warm Christmas buzz. A cast of woodland creatures creates a charming winter scene, as the snowman and the boy dodge haphazardly around the stage on a motorbike. As they take flight to the opening notes of Walking in the Air, pedalling their legs gracefully above the stage, the show almost rises to its anticipated charm.

The Lapland party scene of the second half has a livelier tone, a joyful cast giving its upmost to bring some fun and frolics to the stage.

The Snowman is a magical tale that should lead its audience on a journey through a winter wonderland. But in the end, this long-running production doesn’t quite leave you walking on air.

Charming Christmas story to delight young audiences sadly falls short of magical

Production Information

The Snowman – Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Peacock Theatre
November 25, 2015
January 3, 2016
Press night
November 28, 2015
Raymond Briggs
Howard Blake
Howard Blake
Bill Alexander
Musical director
Jeremy Young
Robert North
Ruari Murchison
Tim Mitchell
Richard Brooker
Ruari Murchison
Flying by Foy Ltd (flying effects), Malin Anderson (wardrobe), Astrid Hoeger (wigs/make-up)
Cast includes
Martin Fenton/James Leece (The Snowman), 
Mikey Hawkins/Oscar Couchman/Cameron James Sutherland (The Boy), 
Emily Ayers, Caroline Crawley, Chloe Dowell, Ruben Du Monte, Antony Edwards, Hannah Flynn, Sophie Hartley, Emily Hughes, Tomoyo Tanimoto Jequier, Domenico Ramelli, Edward Stevens, Claire Talbot, Ami Tollin
Howard Blake, Stuart Rogers, Ruth Morgan
Running time
1hrs 45mins