One look at the Russian performer, Slava Polunin, and you might think he was Santa Claus, but according to The Times, he is in fact 'the best clown in the world'. Whichever you prefer, he will definitely make your Christmas Merry with his world famous Snowshow.
Born in 1950, Polunin applied to the Leningrad Theater Institute, but was turned down due to poor pronunciation. Who would have guessed that a lack of diction could lead to such success? At the age of eighteen he joined a pantomime theatre, and later went on to organise a mime parade, which saw eight hundred mimes from the Soviet Union (many part of a semi-underground movement) take part.
Sometime during his career, an alter ego began to emerge. One with a strange taste in clothing. Asisyai, the fluffy-slippered clown also dons a bright yellow suit that looks like the cross between radioactive protective gear and a deflated balloon.
This sorry looking character could be gentle and naive one minute, and pompous and arrogant the next. Asisyai's constantly changing temperament gave Polunin the idea to create a theatre of clowns, each of which with their own distinctive personality. One night he had a dream, where an auditorium in Moscow became covered in snow - the chairs, the stage, the audience, and oligarchs. Slava's Snowshow was born.
Returning for its third season at the Southbank Centre in the Royal Festival Hall, Slava's Snowshow costs between £20-£65, and will run between 17th December - 6th January. Watch as a single paper snowflake tuns into an all out blizzard.