Regular readers of my blog will have worked something out by now…I bloomin’ love Christmas! So when we were invited to the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale to review Pins and Needles/Lyric Hammersmith’s production of Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas there was no way we could say no! With the show only lasting an hour I decided I had enough energy to rise from my sick-bed, so we donned our Christmas jumpers ready for a magical festive trip!
The Waterside Arts Centre has a lovely little intimate theatre, perfect for family shows. The set, although relatively simple, was ingeniously and imaginatively used – taking us to various parts of Santa’s house (including a humourous scene in his outdoor loo!), up on the rooftops, down a chimney (in which Santa gets stuck – which provided much humour for children and adults alike!), all around the world and even to Buckingham Palace! Our favourite part was when Santa flies his sleigh through the stormy skies which was just magical!
The grumpy but lovable Father Christmas is played with enthusiasm by Mike Aherne and our children were enraptured, with Little Miss now believing that she truly has seen the “real” Father Christmas on stage. There is some wonderful puppetry by Richard Booth who “plays” Santa’s cat, dog and reindeer whilst also seamlessly helping with the staging and props. The star of the show for my husband and I, however, was Katy Sobey who provides all of the fabulous sound effects for the show, using either her voice or simple instruments – a humourous whistling kettle, cracking and cooking eggs, Santa’s washing routine and even his trip to the WC and more are all within her repertoire! She also sings (beautifully) and aptly plays various instruments to provide background music.
Pins and Needles Productions describe themselves as being “passionate about finding imaginative, playful ways to tell stories and create work that is full of heart, humour and magic” and this is certainly evident in this production. A heart-warming, magical show which will fill you full of festive joy and definitely a perfect Christmas trip for the whole family to enjoy!
Father Christmas runs at the Waterside Arts Centre, Sale until 31st December, 2018. More information can be found here.
Disclosure: We were given tickets for Father Christmas in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.