So the week before Christmas I had the joy of seeing Slava's Snow Show. I didn't know what to expect from this production that nobody really seemed to be able to describe, nor did they want to for fear of giving something away.
This anxiety about giving something away wasn't about revealing something within the plot because there really wasn't one - it was more about revealing those magical visual moments which makes the show what it is.
It's a shame really that once you see it you don't want to reveal its main selling points as you want it to be a surprise. The video trailer gives a lot of that away but still you can't know how it feels until you're there.
Still I will say that how it feels is completely and utterly joyous. It was such a pure happiness and a feeling that you couldn't quite believe it was all happening. Not just the big effects like the snow but little touches that appear so simple but the thinking behind it is just genius. It's also incredibly funny and evoked laughter in ways and moments you wouldn't expect.
The show is episodic in a fashion akin to a children's cartoon brought to life. It is clowning but not in a way that people with a fear of clowns would have a fear about - it is subtler than that. The skill of the performers could go overlooked with the big stage effects in place but it shouldn't - the ability to utilise every muscle in the face with the tiniest movement of the eyebrow telling a story and raising a laugh. The music too carried the performance - with European influences and a perfect accompaniment to the comedy but also the more poignant moments.
A colleague said that once you have seen the show you inevitably become an advocate and ambassador for it - imploring people to see it and that is how I feel. Out of all the things I saw in 2012, of which there were many, I think this was actually my favourite. It would also come in my top ten productions of all time which is saying something.
Children would enjoy it but don't think this is just for children - every adult's face I saw was beaming and we all came out of that auditorium elated and not wanting the show to end. I feel I can't quite articulate the experience of Slava but all I can see is go and see it - you won't regret it.
Slava's Snowshow is playing at the Southbank Centre until 7th January and at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury from 8th til 12th October 2013. Follow The Marlowe Theatre on Twitter @marlowetheatre and like the page on Facebook for updates.
UPDATE: If you're 16-26 years or a full-time student, there are also a limited number of £8 Discovery Tickets available for the show.