Slava's Snow Show gets set for The Lowry
PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 November 2014
Slava's Snow Show is an unusual and intriguing festive family treat coming to the Lowry
‘Stupidity is the most important thing everyone has to learn’, explains tri-lingual straight-faced Slava Polunin. ‘I’m an Ambassador of Hans Christian Andersen, the Artistic King of St Petersburg State Circus and the president of the International Academy of Fools.’
It’s not quite the introduction I anticipated from a clown and now I’m desperate to laugh at his transparent irony, but I check my manners. Is it ever appropriate to guffaw at a plain-clothes 64-year-old Russian philosopher clown mid-interview?
Slava’s megawatt twinkly red appendage and apparent irreverence has won him international acclaim across 30 countries and 120 cities with his now world famous Slava’s Snow Show. It’s a colourful classic, clown-inspired mime performance, enjoyed by over three million fans of all ages.
Slava explains: ‘This show is my life project and I wanted to create it as a vehicle to do what I loved best: to travel the world with my friends and family having fun and creating magic.’ He continues: ‘I wanted to influence the world using the opposite of criticism and living as a clown is a philosophy of life. It gives me permission to be surprised with life and to colour everything around myself.’
So where might one such, stupid/smart, clown reside and relax in between his four thousand worldwide performances to date? Le Moulin Jaune is a sprawling banana coloured magical mansion located on the outskirts of Paris, France and oh so perfectly positioned on the doorstep of Euro Disney. Slava refers to his home of 15 years as a creative laboratory and playhouse and it’s here he lives with his wife of 36 years, Siberian born Elena and their extended family.
‘I always wanted to live within a forest and as a child I dreamt about this home and recognised it from my childhood dreams.’ Their home also doubles as a business environment from which he and other artists, designers and creatives are drawn to explore and share their theories of foolishness, fantasy and fun.
I spot graffiti both inside and out and learn this was created by the now world famous Brazilian twins; Os Gemeos who painted the Boeing 737 for team Brazil’s FIFA world cup travel. I wander further along a meandering red painted path (that by night fall transforms into a blue milky way) and pass an ornate traditional temple. Generously donated by Korean monks it now provides shelter for Slava’s visiting foolish fellows.
The tinkling of a musical garden in my distance arouses my ears. My eyes then become mesmerised by a transparent seating area suspended above a backwards-flowing river, only accessible via a moss covered floating raft bed offering up a perfect vantage point from which to conjure fantastically foolish frivolities.
I’m intrigued to imagine how one might awake and decide they wish to pursue a career as a clown? Slava reveals: ‘My passion is to teach people how to live their dream and age 14 I told my mother I wanted to live as a clown.’
His mother wanted Slava to train as an engineer. ‘I chose to work in the field of culture vs. engineering. When I first saw Marcel Marceau I was hypnotised. Living life as a clown was always my only option. Your subconscious always knows what’s best for you.’
Slava’s philosophy for a clown’s life: Happiness is a real chance to understand the world and to live according to the rules of nature. To understand others is a great pleasure and one life is not enough to live all experiences.
Slava and his wife Elena met when Slava was 26 years old and have never spent more than an hour apart.
They have an enormous room dedicated to dressing up clothes and at family dinner parties they each don whimsical attire
Slava originally wanted to be a comedian but his lisp meant diversifying into mime saw him fulfilling his dreams.
See Slava’s Snow Show
Slava’s Snow Show is playing at The Lowry, Salford (Tues 9 December - Sat 13 December) call the box office on 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com . Ticket prices range from £18.00 - £37.00 and include a £2 booking fee