City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Slava’s Snow Show, EFT, Review


By Irene Brown - Posted on 22 October 2011

5
Slava and Snowball
Show Details
Company: 
Slava
Production: 
Dmitry Ushakov, Dmitry Sakhalov, Ivan Yarapolski (stage technicians), Alexandr Percherskiy (lighting technician), Gleb Tatanyan (sound technician)Anna Hannikainen, Elena Dolmatova, Olga Polevaya (company managers)
Performers: 
Francesco Bifano. Oleg Lugovsky, Yuri Musatov, Evgeny Perevalov, Artem, Zhimokolov, Aelita West, Elena Ushakova, Vanya Polunin, Elena Ushakova
Running time: 
120mins

It is some years now since I first saw Slava's Snow Show performed at the Lyceum, and while much of the detail has been forgotten, what remains is the memory of a truly stunning, impressive and moving spectacle.

Russian born Slava Polunin is called ‘the world’s greatest clown’ and his world–wide accolades give him and the show the deserved description ‘legendary’.  That and the word ‘awesome’ have lost much of their strength in its current usage, but their original meanings and sense can be truly applied to this show.

The magic of this organic piece is held partly in the understated clowning of its elite performers that look like cartoons brought to life in costumes of frayed elegance; partly in the surprises that make the audience gasp and grin throughout as they are drawn into this world of gentle anarchy. It is a world shown through simple unaffected mime expressing the human condition through comic sadness and the universal language of the body.

The scenes are timeless. They are understated yet powerful.  They are haunting and beautiful and are performed to moving music and sound effects, like the soft rumbling and rushing of a distant train, that start even as the audience is being seated and has the effect of absorbing and creating the intrigue and magic.

The show is a gorgeous blur of bubbles and smoke; moons and stars; billowing storms of snow. There are angels in ragged wings, a truly fabulous and funny sea scene where the sound effects and timing are stunning. There is a tipping of a hat to petit Pascal and le Ballon Rouge and the whole experience taps in on surprising depths of emotions.

The audience was a mix, but with lots of the old and lots of the young. I witnessed an elderly man watching entranced and wearing his bunnet back to front, which could be read as a Scottish metaphor for joy!

Slava’s Snow Show has a real happy ending that you have to experience. When it was over, the clowns stayed on stage and accepted thanks and handshakes that were warm, genuine and touchingly memorable. Long live the wisdom of fools.

Show ends at EFT today, 2.30pm & 7.30pm