A winter adventure

2012-12-04 00:00

IF you missed seeing the delightful children’s production, The Snowman, at The Witness Hilton Arts Festival in September, then make sure you book seats to see the show at the Hexagon Theatre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus, on December 8 and December 9.

The brainchild of David Plank, conductor of the Pietermaritzburg City Orchestra, The Snowman uses music, puppets and narration to tell Raymond Briggs’s enchanting children’s story about a snowman who comes to life and takes the young boy who built him on an adventure through a winter wonderland.

Plank has been enchanted with the story since he first saw an animated film of The Snowman, released in Britain in 1982.

After seeing the puppets created by Creative Madness for their production of Rumplestiltskin last year, he believed the work could finally be brought to life.

Peter Court and Bryan Hiles have created the puppets for The Snowman and a complex storybook set, both of which are manipulated by actors, Marc Kay, Clinton Small and Adam Dore of the Actors Unemployed Company.

“The puppets really help bring the story to life,” Plank said, “and it’s just the perfect show for kids. They can see the puppets and hear the music and story.”

Narrating the story is award-winning actress, Clare Mortimer (Wit and Duet for One), and Tom Usher, a pupil at Cordwalles, who sings the beautiful solo Walking In The Air, accompanied by the orchestra.

The song, which was made famous by Welsh chorister Aled Jones when it was released as a single in 1985, remains popular in Britain today and was recently covered by Britain’s Got Talent star Andrew Johnston on his album One Voice.

During the 30-minute show, the snowman first attempts to understand the appliances, toys and other bric-a-brac in the boy’s house.

Later, after taking a ride on a motorcycle, the pair fly to the North Pole where they wander hand in hand into a snow-covered forest and attend a snowmen’s party, at which the boy is the only human.

They also meet Father Christmas and his reindeer, and the boy is given a scarf with a snowman pattern.

The next day, the boy begins to wonder if the night’s events were all a dream. Then he discovers the snowman scarf in his pocket.

The Snowman can be seen at 10 am on December 8 and December 9.

Tickets cost R50 and can be booked at 033 260 5537 or by e-mail at hexagon@ukzn.ac.za

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