Review by regular guest writer, Charlotte A Taylor. Follow Charlotte on Instagram and read more of her posts.
[AD] In the stunning City Hall in Sheffield, Carrot Productions hosted their Christmas spectacular- the live orchestral accompaniment to Shaun the Sheep, the Flight Before Christmas and the classic story of The Snowman.
Patiently waiting for us on stage were the festively dressed orchestra. We spotted Mrs Claus, elves and a carrot- not to mention the conductor in a most jazzy shirt. We played a fab little game of I-spy and I loved that the orchestra had dressed up. Before the show, I had naively assumed that conducting was a simpler job than playing an instrument. Talking to a musical friend however and I was soon corrected. Combining it with the moving image on screen added another layer of complexity and not a beat was missed with all the details of screen and sound seamlessly synchronised.
The first half was the story of a little lost sheep and a hero rescue. Just enough jeopardy to entertain but not trouble my six year old. The trumpets and brass came in for the big crescendos while the daintier instruments detailed snow falling, fairy lights twinkling and moments of calm. It was a sweet narrative of festive charm and warmed us up perfectly. During the interval the Snowman himself made an appearance in the Stalls, mingling with the audience- which the children loved.
And so it was to The Snowman- the main spectacle. Combined with the cold snap and the snow still on the trees and the pavements outside, the blanket of white from the beginning of the credits was such an evocative scene. Those first moments of childish glee when James sees the snow were beautifully accompanied by all elements of the arrangement. It wasn’t until seeing the show that I realised how musical The Snowman was- there is an enchanting moment when the snowmen have their party and play instruments on screen. This worked so well for the live orchestra too.
There was a special performance from a young singer for the famous score as the Snowman and James take to the skies. Carrot Productions hold auditions for young musicians to sing with the pros- another lovely touch.
This was a great evening for all ages (how hard is that to nail?) with those of us who loved The Snowman when we were youngsters, enjoying it just as much as our children.
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