Snow Play - Lyngo Theatre




Loved Snow Play by Lyngo. Properly inventive, imaginative theatre. Was going to add ‘for children’ but went with a 5, 9 & 72 year old & they were all totally swept up by it.

What a completely brilliant Christmas present I just received. Snow Play atSquare Chapel. You can easily pay loads more for shows elsewhere which are nowhere near as magical as this. GO SEE THIS. You’ll love it.

Took my 5 year old to see Snow Play today. I’ve never experienced such a vibrant, fun, interactive and absolute hilarious play. My little boy laughed from beginning to end. Everyone was smiling, everything felt magical just as I remember it used to be at the theatre a long time ago. Thank you for such a wonderful experience.

We really enjoyed the performance of Snow Play today. Fantastic job. The kids (and adults) were gripped from start to finish, and all came out smiling.

‘The creators and performers of this show had an exceptional rapport with the audience of children. It was great.’  

 ‘Incredible, beautiful play for young audiences, such fun, kids were enthralled and had a wonderful time, as did the grown ups!’ 

‘The show was brilliant.’ 

‘I thought the show was fantastic. Went with a 3 yr old who laughed all the way through but would be suitable from around 2yrs up to 6 or 7 I would say. Lots of good slapstick panto type comedy. Actors were engaging to children and adults. Kids got to participate in snowball fight at the end which was very popular…Highly recommend.’ 

‘I thought 'Snow Play' was captivating and hugely entertaining for both the children and adults in the audience. It was lovely 2 be involved in the story.’ 

‘The show was great best show I have seen with my kids for a while.’ 

‘Show was really enjoyable. Very interactive and funny.’ 



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‘This is a 50 minute piece aimed at the little ones, say from three years old to the end of infant school, and a pleasure for grown ups to who can enjoy sharing something that is simple and direct.

Tall Carlo Rossi is tramp-like looking Mr White. He's dozing on a chair centre stage when the audience enter but wakes up and waves at them from the other side of the French windows, mouthing words we cannot hear. The kids who wave back are in for a treat for there is plenty of opportunity for the confident to participate in the action and those who are shy won't be pushed into doing anything. They can sit back and enjoy it - though even they seem to enjoy getting into a snowball fight before things are over.

In fact Mr white soon comes out and gives everyone some snow. But it isn't his house. It's the home of Mr Green (lively Patrick Lynch, the straight man to Rossi's oddball). And now he comes back from his holidays. At first he thinks he must have gone to the wrong house but it is certainly his Christmas tree in the garden. How is Mr Green (or Mr Scream or Mr Ice Cream as Mr White calls him) going to get White to leave, or at least to stop him and his audience helpers from bringing more and more of cold winter indoors?

Spring comes at last, with flowers and a butterfly but not before there has been lots of snow fun and Mr White goes back north taking winter with him.

It works because its mime and surreal symbolism are so direct and because Rossi and Lynch are skilled performers who gauge their audience perfectly and have them joyfully co-operating in creating the occasion. .Lynch doesn't need to ask the audience to tell him what Rossi is doing while his back is turned; there spontaneously shouting out that he isn't keep still but moving, as he performs a dancing perambulation sideways. Directed and designed by Chiarenza, with accompanying music by Cialdo Capelli, it really is delightful .

“Snow Play” ends at Pleasance Theatre Islington 1st June, plays Salisbury Playhouse 2nd June and will be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011.’ The British Theatre Guide



‘ “It won't be cold for long, Mr White. There's something under the snow.”

With Edinburgh festival “previews” now running all over the city, Londoners are even more spoilt for choice than usual when it comes to the capital's cultural smorgasbord. This is also the case for “mini-Londoners”, and this week my four-year-old and I went along to see the Lyngo Theatre Company's Snow Play. The company had a hit with this play at the Lyric Hammersmith over Christmas, but how would a wintry play work for a summer audience?

The play was charming and engaging, and the interaction was probably made easier by the intimacy of the audience. Indeed, my daughter, not usually one for overcoming her shyness in front of groups of strangers, got so involved that without prompting she went up to the front and helped coat Mr White in “snow”.

I had had visions of the play utilising real snow, and the auditorium being chilled to an uncomfortable degree. However, on entering the theatre it became apparent that this was not the case, and that instead the company had utilised feathers, white fibre and wadding, which with imaginative lighting and billowing winds was immensely effective (although I couldn't help wondering whether children with asthma and allergies might not get on too well, and might be advised to sit near the back. We were right at the front and could've certainly have done with a “de-linting” after the show had ended!).

The premise is simple: Mr White has moved into Mr Green's house, and in so doing has brought on Winter, “stealing” Spring. There's a lot of excellent physical comedy, much loved by the children, and the simplicity of the storyline (plus the relatively short running time) keeps the children rapt. The constant interaction (we were throwing “snowballs” at Mr White at one point) meant that the kids felt part of the action rather than mere onlookers, which is a key way to keep this fidgety audience engaged.

It was a brave decision to stage the play quite starkly; not for Lyngo the gaudy palette much favoured by many children's theatre companies. Indeed, I had to laugh inwardly when I realised the production reminded me in a strange way of a Samuel Beckett play! The fact was though that the snow was the star, and extra colours, whizzes and bangs were simply not necessary.

What though of the unseasonal nature of the play? As Mr Green put it, “It's June! It shouldn't be snowing everywhere!” Well, as the theme of the play is the search for spring (and I don't think I will be giving the game away too much if I tell you that the quest is successful!), the play works in a summer setting. Indeed, this play would work in any season because for adults and children alike it proves itself to be captivating.’



‘The most vividly memorable thing about this show is the gales of infantile laughter every time the charismatic Carol Rossi lifts so much as an eyebrow. He has a remarkable gift for entertaining children.

A grey-coated, ragged personification of winter, Rossi's character has arrived squatter-like in the home of Mr Green (Patrick Lynch) who plays the 'straight' spring-like role very warmly against the surreality of Rossi's character. Rossi, a star of Italian children's television, has a chiselled, lived-in extraordinarily expressive face and his naughty dance as the subversive snowman, who is meant to stay put but doesn't, is a delight.

There's a lot of snow in this production - big feathery flakes of it everywhere - and children are invited to handle it, stick it on Rossi's coat and throw snowballs made of it. Cue for more irrepressible joyful mirth from the young audience.

Much of the action is accompanied by Carlo Cialdo Capelli's gentle, melodious music which features seasonal bells.

After each performance of Snow Play two facilitators (who also assist during the show) run a workshop in which children use craft materials to make snowy Christmas trees and other activities.  The Stage



Another fantastic show for very young ones, this is an utterly enchanting 40 minutes devised and performed by the Italian theatre company Lyngo, which tells the story of a snowman, Mr White, who takes over Mr Green's house and covers everything in snow, until spring comes and he has to melt away. Children (and adults) will be captivated.’  The Evening Standard 


‘Wonderful.’  Pick of the day Metro


Fun and frolics in the snow

It may have caused the grown-ups a few problems earlier this year, but for children, snow is never a burden. Faced with falling flakes and a snowy white landscape, traffic infrastructure is far from their mind. Scottish/Italian company, Lyngo Theatre may not have real snow in its simple yet highly effective show, but the cotton wool-style substitute goes down a storm with its young audience.

Returning from his holiday in warmer climes, Mr Green (aka spring) finds an uninvited guest in his house. A guest who refuses to leave and, worse still, insists on making an increasingly bigger mess in Mr Green's garden and living room. It transpires the unwelcome visitor is Mr White (aka winter) who can't quite cope with the fact that his time (for this year at least) is over.

Both Patrick Lynch (Green) and Carlo Rossi (White) have a warm performance style that instantly puts the audience at ease. Even though we know Mr Green is in the right, we're really not sure who to root for, so amiable are both characters. Early on, Rossi enlists the help of two adults from the audience, and if children are left wondering why they haven't been chosen instead, the answer soon reveals itself.

Layers of snow, imaginary furniture and even Mr White himself are carried in and out of the house by the volunteers, adding some lovely comic touches without ever veering into the realm of audience humiliation. But the real fun comes from the moments when children can get involved. Shrieks of pleasure accompany them ploughing onto the stage to cover Mr White in false snow or pelt Mr Green and his tennis racket with snow balls. Best of all, there's no damp, soggy mess to clear up afterwards.’ The List



‘It may be August but children love a snowball fight at any time of year.  Snow Play is a lively and entertaining production performed by Patrick Lynch (Cbeebies) and Italian actor Carlo Rossi.  Mr Green returns from his holiday to find Mr White (winter) has taken over his house and covered it with snow.  Along with continuous help from the young audience Mr Green tries everything he can to get winter to leave so that spring can return.  Squealing with delight children are invited to throw snow at Mr White, sweep the snow with brooms, and stick the snow to Mr White when Mr Green turns him into a snowman.  At one point Mr Green opens up his umbrella and creates a magical snowstorm over the entire audience.  This is a show with real universal appeal for young and old alike.  And if any adults reading this would like to get on the stage then make sure you sit in the front row!  Using slapstick humour and minimal props this hardworking duo have created a vibrant, fun-filled show that pushes all the right buttons - interactive theatre at its best.  Although the more timid observers are under no pressure to participate but can watch the fun instead.  Jake (age 5) loved throwing snowballs at Mr White but liked it when Mr White hit them back with a tennis racket even better!  Elise (age 4) said she couldn't stop laughing when Mr White would move behind Mr Green's back but then stand still when Mr Green turned round and pretend he had been in the same place all along.  The 45 minutes raced by. There is no padding in this show, just good old-fashioned non-stop entertainment.’ The Primary Times


‘Inviting audience interaction almost from the start, Lyngo theatre's charming little production succeeds in bringing a cold winter day to the summer stage - and leaves its over-four-years-old audience feeling all warm from the experience.

Carlo Rossi plays Mr White, a tall foreign-sounding, pipe-smoking gentleman from the north. Patrick Lynch is the put-upon Mr Green, who arrives home singing arias from his summer holiday only to find Mr White not just asleep in his front room, but spreading snow all over the place. 

Soon they are vying for the audience's approval. Mr White proffers cotton wool as pretend snowballs and floats motes of snow-like dust around the stage. Mr Green tries to tidy up and gets a couple of kids up from the front row to help. Mr White, meanwhile, has a couple of mums up and helping him spread a blanket of cotton wool across Mr Green's sitting room. 

It's great fun, with the rules of theatre carefully introduced. With the skilfully managed anarchy growing nicely, Mr White is soon being made into a snowman and Mr Green starts to accept Mr White as a friend. Just as that happens, of course, the sun comes out. Embracing that which is different makes its differences disappear, it would seem. Great stuff.’ The Stage


Slapstick and Storytelling

‘Snow Play is a two person piece designed for two to seven year olds.

Mr White (Carlo Rossi) is asleep onstage under a single bare light bulb as the house opens, downstage of him are some basic glassless french windows and to the right of those a Christmas tree.  It would be a bare and slightly dull setup were it not for Carlo Cappeli's score -  which is a beautiful and evocative piece of writing - and the 'snow' circling in the air. With these in place the theatre becomes a magical winter environment.

A rowdy audience of children never really settles throughout (this is failing on the parents part rather than the performers) but when they are as close as they will get Carlo Rossi awakes. He comes out of the window and hands 'snow' to the audience; 'for later' he says.  Rossi hasn't got any lines that are much more complicated than that, a skilled clown his role in the piece is to thwart Mr Green's (Patrick Lynch) attempts to get him out of the house and clear up the snow.  He is a captivating performer with a great capacity for physical humour and keeps the children mesmerised throughout.

Patrick Lynch is a excellent foil for Rossi, he has the bulk of the lines, communicates clearly and simply with the children but shows a great deal of flair for physical comedy as well.  A great deal of credit should be given to him for his control over the children, the production asks a lot (at one point every child in the auditorium is onstage) and yet he manages things without breaking character which is a considerable achievement.  Together, him and Rossi are a classy team who effortlessly entertain.

The third performer is Kate Phillips, she is a plant (a performer sat in the audience in plain clothing) she has minimal involvement and does a excellent job but, ultimately, her involvement feels calculated and disingenuous.

Despite the skills of the performers the real star of Snow Play is the script and its tight integration with the prop and set design.  Many different types of snow are used - ranging from large rolls of it that the audience spread over Mr Green's house whilst he is sweeping up the paper based snow Mr White has spread outside.  Other tricks used to great effect are a umbrella that snows continuously from inside itself when opened and 'snowballs' that the audience throw at Mr White who then bats them back with a tennis racket.

Marcello Chiarenza's direction is assured and skilled, mixing slapstick with storytelling and always keeping Mr White and Mr Green as distinct and rounded characters.  He takes his young audience seriously and repeatedly gets them involved, allowing the stage to get close to anarchy before trusting his two excellent performers to reign things back in.  It's very impressive work.

There are slight niggles, the lighting design is patchy and disjointed at times, although operator error and usual Edinburgh technical compromises most likely explain this.  The French windows in the set are also slightly too imposing from some angles and obscure some of the action.

These are minor issues but it is a testament to how much Snow Play gets absolutely right that they irritate.  Another irritation is that on occasion the experience feels a little calculated - having Mr Green remind people that the soundtrack is in sale in the foyer as the piece ends is a key example - The children without exception have a magical and fun time, and the adults are well entertained,  it is a testament to how well this is done that no-one wants to be distracted from the snowy reality that the show creates.’ Fringe Report


‘Mr Green returns from his holidays to find that Mr White has moved in. It wouldn't be so bad but he is the winter and covers the house inside and out with snow. A touch of adult interaction, kids throwing snowballs and a wonderful hour under the lights leaves young and old thoroughly satisfied. 

The piece has simplicity at its core but does ask us to suspend our disbelief from beginning to end. Two actors without the youthfulness of a C Beebies presenter but with the experience of being one - take a bow Patrick Lynch alongside Carlo Rossi - show us how to keep the kids involved and the pace just right. We are enchanted by their interplay, buy into the whole door that keeps the noise out and the snow that becomes snowballs and falls out of every piece of scenery. The setting is charming but also functional with the tree, the light, the previously mentioned door and the suitcase brought on by the returning Mr Green mined like a Shakespearean sonnet for laughs and effects. It needs the effects and the staging but does not simply depend upon them.

The pace of the show was right and young and old became aware of each nuance as served up as both performers demonstrated consummate skill in their approach to the piece. The slapstick was enough, the storyline worked and the interaction enough and at the right times to keep the kids onboard and the parents less worried about snow ball fights in August.

As a production this ticked enough of the boxes to make it a hit transfer from London that makes the Fringe such a delight when you find something of this quality and value. The down side for me were slight but were present. It comes in whether this is, as an example of its genre one of the best examples of children's theatre and I would have to say that my opinion is that it is great but I have seen better. The quality of the performers notwithstanding and the structure being so good there were times when I felt the kids were being directed rather than fully engaged. Risks are taken every time you try and involve children as the stop button can be hard to find and the authority each actor possesses onstage is impressive but the children became ancillary to the story rather than integral to its telling. The use of someone in the audience who is part of the production is for me quite difficult. You either go for it or you don't.

Now, as a student I was involved in a student Rectorial election with Ming Campbell of the Liberal Democrats and Jeffrey Archer of the Tories. I did a double take upon entering. Carlo and Patrick can argue over who looks like whom but they certainly were far more entertaining than the debates I attended with their look-alikes back in the day. I was engaged and I was entertained. It was a piece of entertainment that was unapologetic about being about nothing in particular apart maybe from compromise. I left feeling glad I had gone to see it but as I have said it had something about the way that other children's companies are going that was missing. A great show that hit 4 stars for me but not the top spot. Mind you, you will go to much worse and pay much more for something your kids would enjoy less than this!’

Fringe Review


‘I wish I was a kid again then I could have joined in the snowball-slinging 50 minutes of sheer delight that was Snow Play without drawing undue attention.

Lyngo Theatre's winter family show is aimed at younger children between three and eight years old (and their parents), although unaccompanied adults will have a good time too.

It played to sell out audiences in London last year and it's easy to see why it's perfect for the Christmas slot in Poole Lighthouse's studio space.

Italian theatre practitioner Marcello Chiarenza has crafted a wonderful piece incorporating physical comedy, circus skills and mime and Carlo Capelli's music sounds like sleigh bells.

The story of sun-loving Mr Green's retum from holiday to find Mr White squatting in his house, gradually filling it with snow, is simple to follow and absolutely enchanting to watch as battle commences for possession of the property.

Tall and icicle thin, Frank Wurzinger plays Mr White with an unhurried, otherworldly innocence that contrasts beautifully with Andrew Irvine's frenetic, arm-whirling Mr Green.

Their physical difference - Wurzinger towers head and shoulders over the stockier Irvine - works well, making Mr Green's attempts to evict Mr White physically very funny.

But Snow Play is less about watching and more about taking part.

"Snow" is liberally distributed among the audience - later to be returned as snowballs - parents are called into service on stage and youngsters invited to help build snow men and sweep up snowfall.

This is just snow much fun.’ The Stage


‘A truly magical winter show, great fun for all ages.’  Bournemouth Echo