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Stuart King

Review: SLAVA'S SNOW SHOW at the Royal Festival Hall

Slava's Snow Show Internationally renowned Russian clown Slava Polunin, began work on his Snow Show back in 1993 and it has since travelled the world garnering plaudits and positive reviews in dozens of countries and hundreds of cities where it has entertained millions of spectators.

In his baggy yellow costume and fluffy red shoes Slava's Beckett-like slowness and measured rhythms allow him to punctuate his movements and facial expressions as though they have been interrupted by another thought or distraction. As a style of performance, it is hypnotic, mesmerising and on occasions, hilariously touching. He is joined on stage by another clown similarly dressed and a chorus of 7 others dressed in green with wide floppy hats which always threaten to collide, but never do - such is the spatial awareness and skill required in this ancient yet often underrated art form.

The various scenes and situations evolve, bringing an ungoverned chaos to the stage which (as the audience may suspect) eventually cannot be contained and spills over into the stalls and beyond. Several mad-cap forays by the performers into the realm of the spectators, acts to collectivise the audience experience and by the end of the show, old and young alike are on their feet engaging and interacting with each other, with cast members and most notably with the various surprising props and stage effects which make an appearance. Kids naturally love it... and once their natural reticence and 'public space propriety' has dissipated, so do the adults.

Slava's Snow Show