Review (Kid +1): Snow Angel (Quest Theatre)

Snow Angel

Snow Angel, playing at Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre, is a whimsical production of mime for the whole family

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow at Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre, as snowflakes propel the heartwarming story of Snow Angel. Created by Nikki Loach, Snow Angel is a sweet tale about being kind and making peace.

The theatrical experience started off as soon as we were directed to our seats. The staff handed us sheets of paper, “Hold on to this until we tell you what you’re going to do with it.” My guest loved what happened next: we literally set the stage by crumpling up our papers and throwing these paper snowballs towards the front of the theatre. Hats off to the creative team for this fantastic crowd-pleaser.

What’s more, we were instructed to make these snowballs without any verbal instruction. To my surprise, Snow Angel was mimed. Impressively, Angela (Léda Davies), her brother Ethan (Christopher Duthie) and the Old Man (Len Harvey) aptly demonstrated that actions speak louder than words. Their expressive body language along with the music and sound told us the story. Never once were we confused about the characters’ feelings as they slouched with shame or outstretched their arms with joy.

As for the set, those fences came in handy. They were swiftly moved around to show scene changes. The fences told us when we were in the neighbours’ yards, and when we were at the skating rink. The only thing that I found slightly confusing about the scene changes was the fact that the actors did them. They merely took off their masks and went at it, rearranging fences, moving around props, delivering more snow. Since I’m used to seeing lights dim while nimble black-clad agents do the dirty work, I was a bit confused. Why is Angela moving the fence? Why is the Old Man throwing around snow?

Snow Angel was not a grandiose, spectacular show like James and the Giant Peach, which I had recently seen at Young People’s Theatre. Instead it was a moral-of-the-story-type performance that is conducive to dinner table or classroom discussions. “How did the old man feel when the bird got hurt?” a Grade 1 teacher could ask her students. They even provided discussion questions on the program.

Another nice personal touch was the question and answer period after the show. The kids were delighted to ask questions to the actors–they have voices!

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Image provided by the company

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