Thursday, July 4, 2013


Created, produced and staged by SLAVA
Canberra Theatre
3 – 7 July 2013

Review by Len Power 3 July 2013

When pre-publicity for a show insists that it’s the most remarkable thing you’ll ever see, it makes you a bit wary.  When you see a lot of children in the audience, you hope that there’s going to be something for adults to enjoy also.  Well, ‘Slava’s Snowshow’ IS remarkable.  It’s a magical experience that will enchant and delight everyone who sees it.

It was created, produced and staged by Slava Polunin from Russia, who founded the Theatre of the Art Of Modern Clowning in the early 1980s to re-establish the great tradition of this artform.

From the moment you enter the Canberra Theatre, you can see that you’re in for something very different.  There are wires stretched high above the seats, bits of flutter paper all over the floor and the auditorium has been moodily lit, creating a sense of strange anticipation.

The cast of eight draw you quickly into their very special world through mime and clowning, engaging your imagination thoroughly.  It’s funny, sad, cheeky and also very moving at times.  If you remember Victor Borge and his quiet, European style of fun, that’s one of the types of clown humour you’ll see in this show.  You will also find yourself involved in and enjoying some thrilling audience participation sequences designed to heighten the experience.  The amazing sound and light show that accompanies it is extraordinary.  It’s important that you are surprised by each part of the show, so giving you more specific detail is just not on.

By interval, the buzz of the audience, obviously excited by what they’d seen so far, was very interesting.  The fun continues during interval, so don’t go out to the foyer unless you really have to.  After the spectacular end of the show, no-one wanted to leave, and the cast encourage you to stay on and have more fun.

If you have young children who have not seen a theatre performance, take them to this.  They will be hooked on theatre for the rest of their life.  It’s not just for children, though.  It will bring out the inner child in everyone.  This is pure theatre and really is one of the most remarkable things I’ve seen.