Wednesday 22 December 2010

Christmas Countdown Day 22: Christmas Theatre

Like many families we have a tradition of going to see a Christmas show or pantomime during the school holidays. For the last couple of years this has been at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. This is a fabulous complex offering theatre, cinema, gigs, bars and cafes in its range of buildings. This year to have a bit of a change from a panto the Christmas show was Danny Champion of the World staged by the Spike Theatre company.

As a classic tale this is a good family story. In preparation I read the story to my 7 year old as a bed time story so that she knew what to expect. We went as a four generation group from my 4 year old son to my 98 year old grandmother. My mum had got us seats on the second row from the front so we were very close to the stage and the action.

Apart from the 2 lead characters all the cast had more than one role as it was a nice small low tech production. There was nice simple staging that was effectively used to change the scene from filling station to wood to school and back again. The story was obviously adjusted to fit into a theatre setting but was pretty faithful to the original Dahl story.

Unlike a panto there was little audience interaction, maybe if a few brave souls had booed Mr Hazell it may have got going! We did all get to be pheasant shoot beaters for a while and my dad was told he had a nice smile by Mrs Clipstone.

If you have children who are familiar with the story then is a great alternative as a family trip to the theatre at Christmas. Well acted and written it was a pleasure to watch. It may pass well over the heads of younger children (my 4 year old liked the falling pheasants though!). Apparently they still have tickets available up until New Year's Eve so go on and get yourself some seats for some good family entertainment!

More Christmas posts at Cafe Bebe.

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