The Snow Baby is a small, quirky production which even in the limited space of the Wardrobe Theatre seems rather dainty and minuscule. Tomasin Cuthbert directs and controls her puppets on top of a table covered in a cloth. She wears a house on her head and acts out the story in front of a string of leaves and a clothes line filled with stockings, tops and a hanging baby.
Cuthbert, in her military-looking boots and chequered 50s housewife dress, smiles and grimaces in place of words.
The show starts as a love story between Grandnonny Des and her Bear but then he’s gone in the storm and she’s alone on the hill.
A sprinkling of snow from a box behind the puppeteer and the red, curly-haired Des, a carbon copy of Cuthbert herself, sets out down the table top to her snow man. It is here that an even sweeter performance emerges of losing and finding love.
The Snow Baby is the Soap Soup Theatre’s first solo show with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Cuthbert directing and producing, as well as impressing with heracting.
The musical effects are haunting and rather spellbinding for the little and big people in the audience. My 20-month-old daughter was left open-mouthed for much of the time.
When the baby cried and wailed she laughed and when a crib was passed around the 10 or so people in the room, she reached out fascinated.
This is not your average children’s play with bright colours and strident tones. It is lovely and gentle and even a bit haunting. At half an hour, it is just right for toddlers who get a bit restless.
Review by Joanna Papageorgiou
The Snow Baby runs at the Wardrobe Theatre until Runs until November 2. For more information, visit www.thewardrobetheatre.com/#/the-snow-baby.