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Snow Mouse review at Barbican Pit, London – ‘idyllic theatre for babies’

Frank Wurzinger in Snow Mouse at Barbican Pit, London. Photo: Lidia Crisafulli Frank Wurzinger in Snow Mouse at Barbican Pit, London. Photo: Lidia Crisafulli

Performer Frank Wurzinger hangs around the auditorium discretely bonding with individual audience members as they settle down on white fluffy cushions and benches covered in white felt.

Designed by Edwina Bridgeman, the world into which we have walked with our bare feet is cosy and sparkly, suspenseful and gently evocative of a picture-book winter.

Wurzinger’s friendly stranger sensitively probes his way around the auditorium before crossing the dividing line into the stage area, but then – delightfully – engages the audience for a bit longer in throwing snowballs of different sizes back and forth with each other. So far, so charming.

When we meet the star of the show, the white mouse with pink ears and blue velvet dungarees things reach a peak of cuteness and excitement, but then it’s all downhill from that point on. Quite literally, as there is some sledging on a spade – though not much more else going on.

Baby theatre is a world unto itself and all that matters is how well it connects with its target audience. There were gurgles and peals of laughter for the first 10 minutes but as the action gradually loses its urgency and its grip on the audience, things descended into (beautiful) chaos.

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Idyllic, meditative and classy theatre for babies that gradually loses its connection with the audience