Christmas. It’s a time when wishes come true. Mostly for children with dreams of Transformers, Vet Sets and the like. But sometimes for adults who spent their childhood Christmases hoping to swoop through the sky like The Snowman.
Back in the 1980s, the frozen mischief-maker could only be found Walking In The Air on TV screens or in the pages of books. Normally just as dusk was falling on Christmas Eve, with the scent of warm mince pies filling the air.
These days – and for the past 20 years, in fact – you can see The Snowman soaring to new heights at The Peacock Theatre. And if you’re very lucky (and happen to be an arts journalist), he might even teach you how to fly.
Flying, it turns out, is not as easy as it looks. There’s more to it than just holding hands or thinking happy thoughts, as Peter Pan would have you believe. Looking graceful while being suspended above a West End stage requires skill and talent, not just an ability to hang – as you can see in this Snowman’s eye video:
I won’t give too much away, but I will say it’s less comfortable than one might imagine. And that it takes a while to recover your ability to walk normally after your first flight. Especially if that flight is aided by new technicians being instructed on sharing The Snowman’s magic for the first time.
While no one was impressed by my flying skills, when The Snowman took off in the real show the faces of the children in the audience were rapt and full of joy. It may sound cheesier than the fourth course of Christmas dinner, but that’s the effect this production has.
The story of a boy’s snowy creation magically coming to life and taking him on a journey to see Father Christmas ticks all the festive boxes. Oh, there are random moments of fruit dancing that leave you wondering what you just watched, but overall it is the perfect Christmas treat; nostalgia filled for older audiences and packed with festive joy for kids.
Just spare a thought for The Snowman as he bobs up and down in the air. I guarantee you it’s not just the motorcycle ride that makes his thighs glow red.