Just when Melbourne is experiencing one of the hottest weeks of the year, we’re being gifted with a celebration of winter and snow for all ages at The Arts Centre.
Slava’s Snowshow is an internationally-acclaimed theatrical clown show that’s been seen by over 10 million people world-wide in more than 225 cities and 40 countries, including a breathtaking 1,000 performances in a two-year run at the Union Square Theatre in New York.
Created by Paris-based performer Slava Polunin, who is often referred to as one of the best clowns of all time, his clowning and mime has taken the art form out of the world of circus and brought it into the theatre to create a fusion of traditional and contemporary theatrical clowning arts, and a beautifully crafted visual spectacle for the whole family to enjoy.
Created back in 1993, the show has gone on to enchant and empowered the imagination of audiences with the dark tragedy and hilarity of the story. Combining mime, bold costumes, moody lighting and very expressive body language to tell stories that don’t require language. That’s right – this is a ‘silent show’ with no dialogue.
The show is centered around the clown dressed in yellow, with his shabbily-dressed friends in green, who joke around, fight, trick each other and generally try to get through their days in what feels like a run-down Russian village in the dead of Winter, or perhaps some kind of purgatory as the opening scene shows a tragedy (with comedic effect). The show somehow manages to tells the story of winter loneliness (something Melbournians know too well), as well as melancholy, adventure and the power of imagination.
We loved the over the top scenes of giant spiderwebs cascading through the audience, more bubbles than you’ve ever seen or a huge finale featuring giant balls bouncing into the audience. The quieter moments were just as impressive, one highlight included the yellow clown performing a small dance with himself while controlling a hanging cloak with his other hand – it was these simple ideas told in a very creative way that stuck with us the most. Audience participation is a must. If you’re sitting in the first few rows expect to have clowns come walking through the audience, spraying water and other antics. It was a lot of fun to see.
In the breathtaking finale, a torn letter is transformed into a snowstorm that whirls around the Arts Centre theatre, leaving the audience deep in paper snow. It is truly a magical experience that you need to experience for yourself. Bring the whole family – this is a show you don’t want to miss.
– The Plus Ones
Slava’s Snowshow is playing at the Arts Centre Melbourne 29 December 2022 – 8 January 2023 before touring Sydney and Brisbane. Get tickets here.
This venue is accessible.