It will be 30 years old next year,  but Birmingham Rep's iconic production of The Snowman is certainly far from tired.

If anything, this magical post-festive offering just gets more evocative with age, bursting back onstage in all its technicolour glory after a pandemic forced year off.

Maybe it's the sheer simplicity of this charming show that has seen it stand the test of time - with its childlike sets, kaleidoscopic colours and sumptuous lighting inviting you into a festive fantasy.

With no dialogue The Snowman is brought to life completely through dance, as a young boy and the snowman he built one frosty morning journey through a winter landscape. It's here where they encounter other snowmen, forest creatures, a ballerina and ice-princess, Father Christmas and the icy super-villain Jack Frost.

Ethan Sokontwe is simply excellent in his turn as The Boy, demanding laughter from a packed audience as he stomps along to the iconic score and pulls at the heartstrings in the final heartbreaking scene. 

Martin Fenton brings fun, grace and warmth to the role of The Snowman, whilst also managing to perform a beautiful pas de deux with the ice-princess.

The stunning choreography by Robert North helps bring the tale to life, with an elaborately costumed hard-working cast, many performing multiple roles. 

I particularly enjoyed the performance of Barry Drummond who took on the guise of Cowboy Snowman, Coconut, Toy Soldier and the wicked Jack Frost with mischievous aplomb.

The flying scenes to the famous song, Walking in the Air, occur at the end of the first act before the interval and at the beginning of the second and are as spellbinding as ever, with the haunting voice of Aled Jones belting out as the pair are suspended above the mesmerised crowd.

Five stars

Reviewed by Fiona McCartney at The REP, Birmingham on Friday 7 January 2022.