Over the Christmas holiday we went to London to join our granddaughter (aged 7) at the Christmas Show at the Royal Festival Hall – and it was an unbelievable experience – in part because we had no idea what to expect – so if you are planning to go (possibly at another venue) and don't want to know what happened don't read below the fold.
The show started slowly - in part because most of the audience didn't know what to expect - but of course true clowns never speak and there is often an atmosphere of pathos. The opening has a sad old clown wondering what to do. He is holding one end of a rope and decides to loop one end round his neck and dolefully pulls on the rope which disappears off stage. He pulls and more and more rope comes until suddenly another identically dressed clown appears with the other end looped round his neck. However once it was clear that there was some very subtle miming the audience relaxed and and enjoyed the various scenes that were acted out. At appropriate points the audience got going with sighs when a clown was sad and cheers when they were successful. One was always wondering what was going to happen next. At one stage a thin gossamer curtain dropped at the front of the stage and suddenly it was coming towards you - covering the audience - while a giant spider ran across the stage. The light came up and it was time for the interval.
At another time two of the green-coated clowns ran up over the audience, stepping between the heads using the back of the seats to take their weight. However the real spectacle was at the end - some very bright lights descended and lit a storm of paper snow that was forcibly blown over the audience so you couldn't see what was coming. And then the huge balls were upon you. The snow storm subsided and the audience spent the next five or ten minutes bouncing the balls round the auditorium over their heads until they were recovered on the stage and the show closed.