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 Post subject: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2001 12:03 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
'The Snowman' choreographed by Scottish Ballet AD Robert North opens soon for the Christams season in Glasgow and London.

Walking in the air (again)
Susan Mansfield interviews Howard Blake for The Scotsman.

Howard Blake talks with some delight of the time he got into a taxi and found the driver playing Walking in the Air on full volume. "I asked if he would mind turning it down a bit," Blake said. The driver replied that it was the best tune of all time, and he would do well to listen to it. "Actually, I wrote it," Blake said . "Yeah," replied the driver, "and I’m Father Christmas!"

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<small>[ 26 December 2003, 04:04 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2001 1:20 am 
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I will be taking my mother and we have a seat in the front row.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2001 1:56 am 
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One of our reviewers Mel will be dancing in the London show.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2001 1:11 pm 
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An old review I have just come across, for this show that is currently running again in London.<P><B>Snowman still has power to melt</B><BR>by Patrick Marmion in The Evening Standard<P><BR>Some children's stories, like Little Red Riding Hood, oppose their winsome sentimentality with acts of cruelty and deceit, but Raymond Briggs's Snowman is one hundred per cent confection with sugar on top. So it is that the boy hero born into nuclear family bliss builds a big snowman one idyllic white Christmas, only for it to come charmingly to life once he's gone to bed. <P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/review.html?in_review_id=229116&in_review_text_id=184369" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2001 1:25 am 
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Review of The Scottish Production in The Scotsman.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>ALREADY a classic in the children’s literary canon and a landmark work of animation, The Snowman has now become a Christmas ballet to remember. <P>Originally created for Gothenburg Ballet in 1992, choreographer Robert North and composer Howard Blake have gently stretched the work from one act to two, giving Scottish Ballet an effective world premiere and its audience 90 minutes of relentless charm. <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1694032001&rware=PBVZHRBLRFJV&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=1" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2001 12:38 am 
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Review in The Times<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The title alone of Raymond Briggs’s simple tale of a little boy and a snowman who comes to life had sold most of the seats before the show opened. Now that it has, there is enough superficial charm — furry animals, dancing fruit, flying sequences and Father Christmas — to carry the undemanding Christmas audience of parents and small children with it. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001582131,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2001 4:12 am 
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A nicely condescending article - I hope to report back tomorrow with just how undemanding my mother and I were.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 1:58 am 
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<BR><B>The Snowman <BR>4 stars<BR>Theatre Royal, Glasgow<BR>Alice Bain<BR>Guardian<P>Wednesday December 19, 2001</B><P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Scottish Ballet's new version of Robert North's The Snowman is a Christmas treat for dark days. It must be a welcome respite for a company under fire; North's imminent, acrimonious departure as artistic director seems forgotten. With colour and costumes for the kids, and a bit of glamour and sentimentality for those accompanying them, this show is a delight<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4322452,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 6:39 am 
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I'm supposed to be going to see that when it comes to Aberdeen.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 2:22 pm 
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Pure enjoyment. It is not 100% dance because there are some scenes completely devoid of dance, for example where the Snowman is exploring the little boy's house. However it is 100% movement.<P>Of course the production doesn't contain a Royal Ballet Sugar Plum Fairy, just a nicely dancing ice queen and fairy from a musical box. Of course the baggy Snowman isn't an elegant ballet dancer. Rather, you have good dance actors and an adorable and talented little boy dancing and acting his way through the best part of two hours, convincing you that the Snowman is real and his best friend. I defy you not to feel a lump in your throat when the Snowman and boy fly into the air to Howard Blake's haunting score played live. All the intent little faces in the audience added to my pleasure: small people waving fibre optic wands and exclaiming loudly when they like a particular bit. (Forget the "no flash" photography rule.)<P>Slapstick though it may be in parts, I laughed out loud. The Snowman whizzing around on stage on a motorbike with the boy in his side car, both wearing oversized old-fashioned helmets, was unexpected. I hadn't thought there was room on stage for the huge hulk of a bike to move and when the music simulated the revving up of the engine, I didn't then expect the thing to take off and chase the rabbit, the badger and the fox Benny Hill style.<P>One particular piece of criticism in the national press has to be well and truly shot down: the tango depicted IS a tango. Although the critic stated that it was barely recognisable as a tango in support of the "absence of dance" theory, as a tanguera I can tell you that it WAS clearly a tango, albeit a bad night at a salon I used to frequent in Vauxhall. The spectacle of snowmen dancing tango, half exaggerated with the European style head shifts back and forth, and half authentically Argentinean, was inspired.<P>And don't you think it faintly comical that a snowman might come from Morocco and meet up with his friends from the US and Scotland at the North Pole? <P>We should all bear in mind that the small people represent the most discerning critics in the land - they practically shout "rubbish" in a theatre if they think something bad or obvious and any director will tell you that they are the most difficult audience to please: they don't know how to clap politely. But if they like it, they'll get hooked on going to the theatre. The Royal Ballet's Beatrix Potter got me hooked.<P>Forgetting the chintz and sugar for a moment, I saw just how clever Robert North's choreograped movement is in depicting action and feelings - there is no help from expressive eyes and dramatic pouts because the majority of the cast is wearing a mask. So the movement makes or breaks the story and if it is not right, you would quickly lose interest.<P>In case I haven't got my message across: it's great, you can check out the fashion parade of six to sixteen year olds in their party attire during the interval and remember what it felt like when the single worry associated with Christmas was deciding what to leave out for the Claus entourage - I mean, Father Christmas will have the whisky and mince pies, but reindeer don't drink whisky, Dad.<p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited December 19, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 11:42 pm 
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Sounds like a lovely Christmas treat Emma.<P>You're so right about the kids. There was one little girl about 5 rows in front of me at the RB's Nutcracker on Tuesday and she asked questions and shouted out when she liked a bit. That I don't mind - she was obviously loving it.<P>What I do mind are kids like the one in front of me who obviously have no interest at all and spend the entire second act climbing up and down their seat. Mind you Mum wasn't much better she put hat and scarf on before the performance had finished and left with child before the curtain calls. What a waste of money.<P>The fashion parades at the interval I agree are very entertaining.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 2:41 am 
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another funny thing that happened, Joanne was a couple of kids sneaking down to the front and diving under the curtain around the orchestra pit where they spent the enitre time peering at the musicians - quietly and well-behaved. Tomorrow's conductors, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: "The Snowman" in Scotland and London 2001/2
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2001 7:30 am 
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<B>Winter favourite leaves audience walking on air</B><BR>Thom Dibdin reviews the Scottish Ballet production in The Glasgow Evening News<P><BR>WHAT a delight! This ballet version of the Raymond Briggs story about a little boy who builds a snowman which comes to life is an almost perfect Christmas treat. <P>From the moment the curtain rises to reveal a neat little house caught in a world of gently falling snow, you get that warm feeling of recognition for an old favourite. <P>Whether you know the story from the original illustrated children’s book or the cartoon, the look of the set is spot on. <P>Life has been breathed into Raymond Briggs’ sensitive coloured crayon drawings, just as life is breathed into the snowman later on. <P><A HREF="http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1710012001&rware=HYWUQSCGMGJV&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=4" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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