The set of the Snow Child is simple, but imaginative.
A large white box in the middle of the stage is filled with white balls, which clearly represent the show’s vital ingredient - snow.
I’ve brought my two-year-old along to a matinee showing of The Crucible’s wintry tale, in the venue’s Studio.
As the lights dim, something extraordinary happens, the white balls begin to move. Slowly at first, and then - with a pop - a head emerges from the ‘snow.’ Imogen laughs. It’s the start of a magical 50 minutes.
The lovely tale is full of warmth; the story of a man and his wife who love one another dearly and long for just one thing - a child of their own.
As we watch them enjoying a day of fun in the snow - complete with snow angels and snowball fights - we see them slowly begin to create a snowman. Through clever effects and the creative introduction of bigger balls and hidden objects from beneath the surface, we see a snow child begin to take shape.
It’s strikingly effective; a thoroughly visual show made magically beautiful by inventive live music and absolutely enchanting puppetry.
At just two-years-old, Imogen sat through almost the whole show in a transfixed silence. Every so often she would comment, as only tiny people can, announcing ‘look, a snowman!’ and ‘Aww she’s sad...’ to the rest of the audience, and I was amazed by the way the show serviced her emotions and stimulated her understanding.
I won’t give the ending away, other than to say it certainly brought a tear to my eye and pulled at my heart in just that way a truly good story does. And it got every child in the room shouting for joy. Perfect.
The show, presented by the award-winning Unicorn Theatre company is one I would recommend to anybody with children - young or old - at this magical time of year. Christmas may be over, but with this theatre treat, winter wonder lives on.
As the show is highly visual, with no language, it has been signposted as ideal for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing, though there will also be a ‘relaxed performance’ this Thursday at 11am, which has been specifically designed to welcome people who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability.
The show will run at The Crucible until this Saturday, with two performances every day, apart from Thursday when there is just one.
Visit Sheffield Theatres for tickets.
This week is your last chance to see the festive period off with a bang and soak up a little panto fun.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Sheffield Lyceum, Jack and the Beanstalk at Sheffield City Hall, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Rotherham Civic Theatre will all run until January 8 so book your tickets now.