Bristol Theatre News

Slava’s Snow Show at the Bristol Hippodrome Review

slava boat


It’s a cardinal sin to take a photograph during a performance at the Bristol Hippodrome. This is for a host of reasons including health and safety and copyright.

But by the end of the performance, theatre staff were so busy concerning themselves with giant inflatable balls, spider webs encompassing the entire audience in the stalls and snow ball fights taking place across the auditorium, stopping 2,000 people snapping pictures of each other against the back drop of Oliver Jeffers styled clowns was the least of their worries.

Slava’s Snow Show, is the type of show you would find at the Brewery Theatre on North Street. Incredibly clever, inventive, magical, awe-inspiring with plenty of interaction. It is, in fact, the entire opposite of what you would expect to find at the ultra traditional Hippodrome. That this show could be staged this well in this particular venue with a 2,000 seater capacity, is an impressive testament to both cast, crew and theatre staff.

Audience members found the plush red and gold of the Hippodrome, darkened and misty, with blue hues and atmospheric light. Children cavorted in front the stage, delighted with the deep drifts of snow.

In two short but sweet acts, a pratfall of clowns (had to Google the collective noun too) take the audience through a series of individual scenes, featuring funny, beautiful and touching moments. There’s more than a touch of Pingu about the physical performance, vocals and humour.

Most notable acting scene must be an extraordinary moment when the Yellow Clown transforms a coat stand and hat into a nurturing adult.


View from back stage as the clowns release the balls
View from backstage as the clowns release the balls


During the show, snow falls from the roof, a misty sea gale races from the stage, giant Indiana Jones sized balls roll from backstage and bounce high through the auditorium.

As Orff’s O Fortuna blasts through the auditorium in the final scene, the audience brace themselves for the last blizzard. A wall of snow sweeps off the stage like a tide, filling the stalls and rushing across the heads of every man, woman and child.

Trying to find words to describe the magnificance of Slava’s Snow Snow is rather like trying to smell the colour blue. Impossible. It’s a magical sensory experience for all ages.


Running at the Bristol Hippodrome until Sunday 03 November 2013
Tickets from £11.90
Stalls highly recommended