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.