Tuesday, May 28

A Town Called Christmas – Sheffield Theatres Playhouse

‘Wrongsemble’ bring an intimate theatre experience for young children to the Playhouse at Sheffield Theatres. A Town called Christmas tells the story of the decline of Christmas Spirit. Clementine (Eve Tucker) is left a Christmas Ornament from her much loved Aunt and memories abound of a wonderful place called Christmas. Armed with her suitcase, some Christmas Cracker jokes and the precious ornament, Clementine boards a train in Sheffield to find the town she has heard so much about. On arrival the only inhabitants are a ‘glitchy’ Robot guide aptly named Glitch (Florence Poskitt) and a miserable Caretaker (Terence Rae). The town is run down, broken and no longer used. Together the three find that warm, fond memories and Christmas spirit will bring the town back to its form sparkly, heart-warming, twinkly glory. With the help of 2 beautiful puppets by Kathleen Yore they reminisce of times gone by and warm fuzzy feelings….

Written and directed by Elvi Piper with musical composition and Associate Direction Claire O’Connor and Bayard Bryan and Design by Antony Jones the story is delightful and fully immerses the young audience, however I do feel it’s a little too ‘wordy’ for very young children. The set is simple but effective and the audience are involved in the action, the songs tell the story and the mood, but it is the choreography by Richard Priestly that really engrosses the audience. There is some wonderful physical performances by the trio on stage, but Poskitt’s glitchy robot is the most distinctive and is very funny, the children laughed the whole way through. The performers jump with ease between different characterisations and the use of puppets is skilful and adds a different dimension to the 50-minute performance.

I took along my 6-year-old Granddaughter, so what did Marnie think of the show?? Straight from mouths of babes…

‘I liked it, can we go again Grandma? What do you get if you eat Christmas ornaments? …. Tinsel..itus!! What falls but doesn’t hurt itself? …… Snow. Hahaha.  I liked the jokes a lot and the Robot was funny, she kept getting stuck when she talked. I liked the snow falling at the end and the angry caretaker making Clementine stamp her foot! Those puppets were so lovely, I would like one of those for Christmas! I am going to write to Santa. Oh, and I was sad when Glitch gave her heart away and nearly died! But was happy that she was ok again!’

A Town Called Christmas is at the Sheffield Playhouse until 30th December and is the perfect way to introduce young children to live theatre. All the children loved the production but a word of warning… after the show you will be hearing bad Christmas jokes on repeat for days and you will need to laugh every time! Such is the Spirit of Christmas! https://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/events/a-town-called-christmas

Reviewed by Tracey Bell (Grandma) & Marnie Hope Watson (aged 6)

Reviewed: 16th December 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.