Slava’s Snow Show has been wowing audiences all over the world ever since it was created by the off-beat mind of the performance artist and clown, Slava Polunin, in Russia in the early 90s. Since then it has attracted theatrical plaudits across the globe and become one of the country’s most famous exports. Ten years after it last visited, the show has returned to Wales and the splendour of the Wales Millennium Centre. Judging by the packed out and thrilled auditorium on the opening night, Slava’s Snow Show is in no danger of losing its allure and lustre anytime soon.
For the uninitiated, Slava’s Snow Show is a series of visual comedy skits with absolutely no discernible dialogue – which explains why it has gone down a storm the world over as there are no linguistic barriers. Underpinning this simple and universal construct, is a mesmerising soundtrack that mixes the familiar (Vangelis’s Chariots of Fire and Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn theme tune) with the abstract. Throw in an occasional jaw-dropping set-piece to close the show at the interval and finish and you have a formula that appeals to audiences the world over.
It is hard to put your finger on exactly why this unique and dream-like show works, but it just does. The success is perhaps down to the show’s ability to break down generational barriers and bring out the inner child in adults. I, like many other parents in the Wales Millennium Centre, found myself enthusiastically leaving my seat to stand alongside my children and get involved with the show’s joyous finale that involved enormous inflatable balloons being released into the crowd. Similarly, the giant spider’s web that started at the stage’s front and was slowly spread out over the lower stalls was eagerly welcomed by spectators of all ages.
By the end of the show, we were all covered in ticker tape and wearing sloppy big grins as we exited after nearly two hours of silliness and escape. In a world seemingly turning more and more cynical with every month, the market for something as good-natured and innocent as Slava’s Snow Scene is hardly likely to diminish. Catch it before it disappears for another decade.
17 Oct – 21 Oct 2017
Tickets: £14 – £36 (£15.50* – £37.50*)
Age Guidance: 8+ (No under 2s)
Contains strobe lighting
What makes Arts Scene in Wales special: