40 years ago Raymond Briggs’ delightful book, The Snowman was published. 4 years later, on Boxing Day of 1982, the film version of the story was first shown on television, beginning a tradition in family homes all over the U.K. of watching The Snowman together every Christmas. Certainly in our house when I was a child and now when I have children myself, The Snowman is an integral part of our festive celebrations – Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without it! So when we were invited by Carrot Productions to watch the iconic film on a big screen at The Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent, accompanied by a live orchestra made up of some of the top musicians in the country and a local child soloist singing the timeless “Walking In The Air” we were all very excited. 

Image © Snowman Enterprises Ltd.

Regular readers of my blog will have realised by now that I have been very poorly recently and so ‘Typical Daddy’ has had to step in for quite a few of my reviews – however, The Snowman was one that I desperate to get to and, thank goodness, I was just about well enough to go!

The evening began with a “Christmas Medley” from the orchestra who were then introduced through a humorous tale in which each of the instruments were presented separately, emphasising to the younger members of the audience that the music was live and highlighting the different instruments and their individual sounds.Next, we were treated to A Donkey’s Tale, a film created especially for Carrot Productions by Daniel Whibley and also accompanied by the amazing orchestra. A Donkey’s Tale is a charming and heartwarming story of a donkey who longs to dance! I shan’t spoil the story for you too much but I can tell you that both of my children (and myself and Mr J.) loved it and Little Miss was dancing along to the music on my knee! She’d have been dancing in the aisles if I’d let her, especially as once the film had finished the orchestra were joined by a ‘real life’ snowman waltzing through the audience!

Image © Gareth Widdowson

After the interval came the main event and, of course, it didn’t disappoint. I must admit, I’m a bit of a softie, and as the opening music began and the classic images appeared on the big screen I had tears in my eyes! Watching the beautiful film whilst listening to the familiar soundtrack played live by world-class musicians truly was a magical experience that we will never forget!

“The Snowman” at Chester Cathedral © Gareth Widdowson.

You too can experience this fabulous festive event over the next few weeks at Warrington Parr Hall (20/12/18), Chester Cathedral (sold out), Beverley Minster (27/12/18), Durham Cathedral (28/12/18) and Liverpool Cathedral (29/12/18). For more information and tickets visit Carrot Productions’ website.

Disclosure: We were gifted a family ticket to ‘The Snowman’ in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

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