A surreal spectacle
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Imagine the weirdest dream you’ve ever had and it probably still won’t come close to the surreal spectacle of Slava’s Snowshow.
The brainchild of eccentric Russian Slava Polunin arrived at the Marlowe Theatre on
Tuesday in a blustery blizzard of snow.
The performance is led by a company of endearing, yet slightly sinister clowns, with
the traditional red noses, big, floppy feet and slapstick stunts.
But this is not your average circus show. It stars Assissiaï, a gentle clown who takes the audience on a journey through a captivating, dream-like world via a bed that turns into a boat, and a train that he boards and then turns into.
He even develops a heartwrenching relationship with a coat stand, which is arguably the funniest and most impressive part of the show, despite the big-budget showstoppers.
They included one scene in which the audience was enveloped in a giant cobweb,
and the breath-taking finale which left us all ankle-deep in snow and dodging giant
Its plot is difficult to establish or make sense of, but the mystery is part of its beauty.
Described as “a theatre that eludes all definition and uniformity,” it transports you back to your childhood and allows your imagination to take the reins.
I’m unable to heap well deserved praise on the man behind the make-up, yellow overalls and fluffy red shoes, because producers have kept his real identity under wraps.
They say the show should be regarded as an ensemble piece, because cast members play different roles on different nights – and even swap around during the actual performance.
It’s certainly unconventional. The whole thing is as barking mad as the barking shark that appears in one scene. It has to be seen to be believed.
Its lack of dialogue makes it universally-accessible. Slava’s Show Show will thaw the iciest of hearts and stay with you long after you leave the snow-covered