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Review BH Slava 2013

Slava's Snow Show
Review BH Slava 2013

Slava's Snow Show which plays at the Bristol Hippodrome until Sunday, November 3, is top theatre for children of all ages.
The belly-laughing from a small boy sat three rows back from me and the chuckling from the 30-something male in an adjoining seat was joined by the many more laughing-out-loud giggles and guffaws which resounded around the auditorium on opening night.
Slapstick and clowns aren't my number one favourite and in fact one of the teenagers I took has an absolute fear of the funnymen since being 'drenched' aged two by a water pistol welding prankster at a circus in Clevedon.
But these are clowns extraordinaire who move their bodies in slow motion, miming to maximum affect with show-stopping stunts that will blow the cobwebs from your mind and take your breadth away.
You know when you have seen a great film when you are still thinking about it many hours later well I am still running the images around in my head and picking up pieces of 'snow' scattered around my house 24 hours later.
This is THE half-term experience which the teenagers described as 'awesome', 'fanastic', 'great' and for two hours plus they didn't miss their computer games!
Slava's Snow Show is like stepping into a very well illustrated children's book and being part of the story - especially when a long, lean clown in a green overcoat and umbrella is climbing over the stalls to come and get you!
As well as buckets of humour it has the hope and sadness of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs backed by a soundtrack which could have come from the 1990s dark British television comedy series The League of Gentlemen coupled with the mystery and danger of being trapped like Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner in a surreal setting by giant balloons.
Created and staged by Slava Polunin, the renowned international artist and artistic director of St Petersburg Circus, this awarding-winning Russian show is full of joy for all the family.
Its publicity blurb says: "Enter a joyous dream-like world, unlike anything you have seen before. A world in which a cobweb envelops the audience and one tiny piece of paper begins a heart-stopping blizzard of snow."
And it comes recommended for those aged from eight to 88.Slava's Snow Show is a combination of hilarious clowning and stunning visual spectacle performed by a world-renowned company of clowns led by Slava.
Influenced by artists such as Chaplin, Marcel Marceau and Engibarov, Slava and his company have taken clowning out of the world of circus, and brought it to theatre lovers, fellow practitioners and families worldwide.
I urge you not to miss it when it returns to the West Country this November.

Carol Deacon

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