Slava’s Snow Storm - The Lowry, Salford Quays
Accolades often take some living up to, so combine being dubbed “the world’s greatest clown” and creating “a classic of the 20th century” then put them together with acclaimed actor/director Simon Callow’s praise that Snow Show is “the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in a theatre” and there’s quite a hill to climb.
But Slava Polunin and his company of clowns of all sizes (think Beckett’s Waiting for Godot rather than Mooky’s Tower Circus) manage to mould so many genres into under two hours of performance that it’s frequently difficult to think how to describe what’s going on. Even if you needed to.
There’s an element of slapstick (thankfully kept to water throwing), some audience participation (unsuspecting “volunteers” precariously clambering over the backs of chairs with the main man), plenty of cleverly adapted traditional clowning, a fair amount of tragi-comedy, an auditorium full of bubbles, slices of Marcel Marceau style miming, a giant spider’s web audience members are still picking out of their hair hours later and the snow storm of the title which is worth the ticket price alone. And don’t forget the giant coloured balls and balloons grown adults are virtually fighting with youngsters to keep in the air as a finale.
Snow Storm is to clown shows what Cirque de Soleil is to Zippo’s Circus.
Don’t miss it next time around.