“The single most beautiful thing I have ever seen in a theatre in my life.” Simon Callow, Sunday Express, UKFollowing his sensational performance as part of Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria, Slava went on to create his own SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW which has become a multi award-winning international sensation, delighting and thrilling audiences in more than 120 cities around the world, from London’s West End to Sydney and from New York to Moscow.
SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is a fusion of traditional and contemporary theatrical clowning arts. The show brilliantly creates a world of wonderment and fantasy that transports the audience to a joyous dream-like place, where a bed becomes a boat in a storm-tossed sea; a woman is wrapped in cellophane and becomes flowers in a vase; a child walks in amazement inside a bubble; Slava boards a train and then becomes the train, his chimney-pot hat billowing smoke; and a web of unspun cotton envelopes the audience.
The stunning finale sees a letter turn into snowflakes, and the flakes turn into a snowstorm, which whirls around the auditorium, leaving the audience ankle-deep in snow.
SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is a visual masterpiece loved by children and adults alike.
Sydney Morning Herald, 12 June 2013, by Jason Blake
You only had to glance around to see that this feast of lugubrious European clowning wasn’t pressing many buttons for the under 12s in the audience.
Advice to parents: let them squirm. There’s a big surprise in store.
Created 20 years ago in Moscow by the Russian-born clown Slava Polunin, Slava’s Snow Show has toured the world ever since, playing to audiences now measured in the millions. With changes in personnel, it has presumably evolved since it played in Sydney in 2000, though you’d be hard pressed to say exactly how. In every respect, it has retained its handmade feel, relaxed pace and downbeat humour. Slava’s Snow Show resolutely resists the urge to move with the times, which is why you still get blasted with the Chariots of Fire theme and Orff’s Carmina Burana. For kids, however, that stuff is so old it’s new.
The old master Polunin isn’t performing in this company. His role – that of an elderly figure in a baggy yellow onesie, shaggy slippers and bulbous red nose – is shared by Robert Saralp (Russia) and Derek Scott (Britain), actors and clowns of consummate skill. Six identically dressed clowns in stiff green coats, floppy black shoes and winged hats provide mischievous support.
Gentle, sad-faced, open-ended routines bring the comic pas de deux of Laurel and Hardy to mind. Brooms and balloons are used a great deal, though nowhere near as much as theatrical mist, which tumbles off the forestage in waves, leaving the front rows gagging. Acts of petty theft and forays into the audience help to keep everyone ever so slightly on edge and if you are in the front stalls, there’s a better than even chance you will get wet.
In the main it’s the gentler sequences that delight. The show’s take on the classic “empty coat” routine, played as if it were a parting scene between two old friends on a railway platform, is beautifully articulated. A trio of green clowns miming to Blue Canary is priceless.
The kids’ sighing and wriggling stops abruptly with the confetti blizzard grand finale, which gives way to a colossal game of keepie-uppie. And wouldn’t you know it, suddenly it’s the best night the little ingrates have ever had.
Sydney Arts Guide, 13 June 2013, by David Kary
Legendary Russian clown and entertainer Slava Polunin has been touring his show Slava’s SNOWSHOW for twenty years now and it continues to bring audiences around the world a sense of wonder… of magic… of joy.
We are transported into dream-like places- a bed becomes a boat in a storm-tossed sea, a woman is wrapped in cellophane and becomes flowers in a vase; a child walks in amazement inside a bubble; SLAVA boards a train and then becomes the train, his chimney-pot hat billowing smoke; and a web of unspun cotton envelopes the audience. The stunning finale sees a letter turn into snowflakes, and the flakes turn into a snowstorm, which whirls around the auditorium, leaving the audience ankle-deep in snow.
It’s the kind of show that you just don’t want to end. It does sadly, like everything…
When the clowns came to the front of the stage, two yellow clowns, six green clowns, to take off their masks and take their bows, there was a look of joy and contentment on their faces, as they saw the little kids, and the big kids looking after them, playing with the snow and the huge balls traveling down from the stage. This team of clowns had come to entertain, had conquered, and now were surveying the theatre that they had transformed into a virtual playground.