After performing to more than three million spectators in 30 countries worldwide, Slava’s Snow Show brings its magic to Sheffield for the first time next week.
It promises to be unlike anything audiences at the Lyceum have seen before as they are transported to a winter wonderland through dazzling light displays, snow storms, and a gang of mischievous clowns.
It is the creation of the great Russian clown, Slava Polunin, who divides his time between duty as Artistic Director of the St Petersburg Circus and his family home and base for the past 10 years at La Moulin Jaune near Paris.
Slava is a grey-bearded, twinkly-eyed energetic man who talks enthusiastically - through an interpreter - about the creative hub that has been developed in the 12th century mill and the 40 acres of grounds on the banks of the River Marne.,
“Joy and creativity are fundamental “ he declares. “The aim is to become happy and make others happy.The more happy people I have around me the more happy I am myself.That is why my show is a perfect statement of happiness and every night I see hundreds of happy faces. Can you imagine having this possibility every night?”
As to what Slava’s Snowshow entails its creator is characteristically vague. He talks about a world in which a cobweb envelopes the audience and one tiny piece of paper begins a blizzard of snow. “You will be sharing a dream,” he says.
When he adds: “I have a magic pillow and when I wake up I have new ideas” somehow you believe it.
The circus does 10 tours a year but his commitments in St Petersburg means it is left largely in the hands of his creative team
“But when the company comes to the UK I am always there because I adore the British public,” he says.
“When you take a show to Spain the public give you five seconds to catch them. In Britain they give you half an hour which means they are ready to indulge their passions. I can be on stage doing anything and I know the audience will be with me. In the USA after three seconds they leave the room because they need action.”
There are many reasons why snow is at the heart of his show. “Snow is beautiful,” says Slava. “It’s white like a dress or a sheet of paper in front of a poet who is going to write on it. Snow is also the symbol of death. So It’s scary and beautiful at the same time and functions as a perfect reflection of our world.”
He is a great believer in the ying and yang of life. “Sadness and melancholy are part of our beautiful life. If we didn’t have that we would never appreciate happiness.
“Laughter is like the oil to make a machine work, it’s what you need to make everything run smoothly.”
Slava’s Snow Show is at the Lyceum Theatre from Wednesday to Sunday.