Review : The Snowman at Hanley’s Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent*

victoria-hall-stoke-staffordshire-snowman-and-piano-show-review

With just a week to go before Christmas, what better way to get into the Christmassy mood and feel, by heading to Victoria Hall in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent to watch The Snowman, an iconic film based on the 1978 picture book by Raymond Briggs, which we grew up watching as kids. We were invited to experience a live, professional orchestra playing the original score along to the 1982 film shown on a large screen, thanks to Carrot Productions. It was certainly a magical experience perfect for the festive time for our kids as it was their first time at the beautiful Victoria Hall and what more, they also had the opportunity to take photos with a real-life snowman before the show started.  We had the privilege to watch the film come to life thanks to the talented musicians who played the live rendition of Howard Blake’s beautiful soundtrack which included the Incredible Overture.

 

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As a child, I remember watching this film over and over again, especially at Christmas. What I hadn’t realised was that our youngest son who is four had never seen it before. So seeing and hearing it for the first time was truly special for him. The orchestra was utterly perfect, although I thought it could have been more of a  prominent focus of the performance (but perhaps that is from an adult perspective).  The children were enthralled and our youngest couldn’t believe that the music was coming from the people on the stage! The musicians were really brilliant, they played beautifully and the child soloist who sang the original song, ‘Walking in the Air’ sung by Aled Jones did really well, considering Aled is such a hard act to follow!

The Snowman experience offered much more than a viewing of the beloved movie, it was made extra vivid by the presence of live musicians / professional orchestra. The programme also included a second animation, specially commissioned by Carrot Productions which was A Donkey’s Tale. A heart-warming story of Dillon the Donkey, an ordinary donkey with an extraordinary dream that takes him on a journey that will change his life, has been specially written and composed by Daniel Whibley.

Overall this is a perfect introduction for children to hear and appreciate more classical music, as a cartoon becomes a perfect accompaniment.

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Victoria Hall is a fabulous venue, it has maintained its old features with the addition of beautifully crafted modern features which work well as old and new gelled together. The venue is comfortable and filled with pleasant and helpful staff. My only complaint with the venue is that the cost of drinks/snacks is a little pricey…we spent £12 just for three ice creams (which were delicious but its a large expense if you head out with a big family), having said that, they were a real treat!

 

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About Victoria Hall

The Victoria Hall was built in 1888 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Built-in local red brick and terracotta, the classical Grade II Listed venue originally held 2800 people, and has, over the years, been the scene of numerous concerts, wrestling contests, boxing matches and many rock gigs.  The Victoria Hall was revamped in the mid-nineties, opening its doors once more in 1998 and has since then been at the heart of the Cultural Quarter, alongside its sister venue The Regent Theatre.  The Victoria Hall has now established itself as one of the most popular venues on the touring circuit and has played host to an impressive array of famous faces, including Paul WellerMorrisseyJimmy CarrRussell BrandJohn Bishop and Bloc Party. It consistently attracts the biggest names in music and comedy to Stoke-on-Trent, as well as an array of children’s shows, music tributes and dance.

 

Where is Victoria Hall ?

Bagnall Street
Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire
ST1 3AD

 

How to get to Victoria Hall in Stoke?
  • Victoria Hall is situated in Stoke-on-Trent City Centre (Hanley), easily accessible from the M6, junctions 15 and 16, and from the A50. Follow the prominent brown tourism signs for the Cultural Quarter and then Theatres. Ample secure parking nearby (£1 evenings).
  • The Victoria Hall is situated next to the city centre bus station.
  • Stoke-on-Trent railway station is a 10-minute bus ride or taxi drive away.

 

You may also want to read this:

Review: Robin Hood at Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent

Review of Dick Whittington the Rock ‘n’ roll panto at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre

Review: The Wind In The Willows at the New Vic Theatre

 

* Photos copyright of Snowman Tour. We were given theatre tickets in return for the review.

 

34 Comments

  1. December 19, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    I wish i live nearby, the venue is gorgeous and the show not to be missed!!! Glad you experienced something as beautiful as this.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 20, 2018 / 7:54 am

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Chad

  2. December 19, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    That looks so amazing. I would love to experience that for myself one day. I think my family needs to take a vacation to the area for the holidays!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 20, 2018 / 7:54 am

      Yes you do and remember to check their website beforehand for shows to co-incide with your trip

  3. December 20, 2018 / 7:19 am

    My family would love to see that one day! The littlest is obsessed with snowmen.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 20, 2018 / 7:53 am

      How wonderful to hear that Tiffany! We would totally recommend that x

  4. December 20, 2018 / 11:28 am

    oh wow sounds incredible! what a cool experience we love the snowman x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      Glad to hear that and yes it was truly incredible!

  5. December 20, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    What a fabulous event and venue! I love this story, and to see it here would be magical.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Absolutely! And seeing a real snowman live is something else!

  6. December 20, 2018 / 4:00 pm

    My daughter loves shows like this, she would be in heaven! We have been watching so many holiday movies.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Its something we do as a family as well and spend so much time together having so much fun!

  7. December 20, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    What a fun venue to visit, and so much history! Thank you for sharing.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Your welcome Sara! Yes the Victoria Hall is a very special place to head to

  8. December 20, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    What a beautiful venue! I love going to holiday performances and this is something I’d love to go see!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:31 pm

      They do tour around the UK Jacline, so best to check their website to see where they are heading next

  9. December 20, 2018 / 9:52 pm

    i think i’ve seen the snowman but can’t seem to remember the plot right now. That looks like such a fun family experience though!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      Yes it sure does, especially with the accompaniment of the live music from the orchestra

  10. Jasmine Hewitt
    December 20, 2018 / 10:32 pm

    this is a beautiful venue and looks to be a fun experience! i love things like this the family can enjoy

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Its a show for the whole family!

  11. December 21, 2018 / 12:30 am

    it’s always fun to watch or go to the same places you once went to as a child to bring back those memories… makes for an extra special time!
    glad you had fun watching the Snowman!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Thank you Eloise, we have to agree, its become our tradition, to share what we did as kids

  12. December 21, 2018 / 2:33 am

    Wow this sounds like so much fun! I would have loved to get to go!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Yes it was a great show Emily!

  13. Catherine Santiago Jose
    December 21, 2018 / 2:56 am

    To be honest I haven’t experience this kind of musical theater but I hope and pray to get the opportunity as I love musical or instrumental song. Great concept of the show as the kids are very happy they saw this.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:28 pm

      Absolutely, thank you Catherine for the lovely words, totally appreciate it

  14. Shar
    December 21, 2018 / 4:53 am

    Oh my goodness this looks so fun! I wish I lived closer so I could experience this for myself… Maybe someday for a vacation 🙂

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:28 pm

      Do plan to trip Stoke-on-Trent! Lots of fabulous shows to watch here especially during December

  15. sara lafountain
    December 21, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    This looks like such an amazing show! I am so glad your family got to enjoy it. Happy holidays!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 21, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you, we are very lucky to have watched the show!

  16. Chastity
    December 21, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    The show looked so magical and lively. I would have loved experience the vibe of the live music. It feels refreshing when you’re in the moment of it all.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 22, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      Absolutely, we have seen the show many times, but it felt so different and more magical being at Victoria Hall in person

  17. December 22, 2018 / 4:13 am

    This looks like a fun show, and such a gorgeous venue. It’s fun to do special events with your family to make memories.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      December 22, 2018 / 8:03 pm

      Yes we totally agree, kids grow up with memories such as this when they get into adulthood

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