Tuesday, December 5

The Enormous Christmas Turnip – The Studio, Edinburgh

That Ivor MacAskill (Rabbit Hutch) and Rosana Cade (Rabbit Stew) are Glasgow-based was obvious straightaway without consulting the programme. ‘You’ll have had yer tea’ made an early festive entrance as Hutch attempted to stall Stew’s attempt to invite more folks to Christmas dinner. More attendees would require more than the one carrot the two traditionally shared.

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Potatoes and (the dreaded) Sprouts for example, but something was still missing, and it started with ‘Tur-‘. After the least bashful audience member of 2021 (five seats to our left) intervened to stop anyone adding a ‘-key’ we were off on a delightful, educational journey following the progress of seeds as they grew into actual vegetables. Adhering to the instructions given by the talking seed (an excellent puppet set against an Ivor Cutler-esque soundtrack) we went – courtesy of the Season Turner (a magic black pepper grinder) – from sowing time (Spring), via growing time (summer) to harvest time (Autumn and Winter). The centrepiece of the set was cleverly employed as a seat, bed and vegetable patch, flipping open to represent a club-like Underground (with disco-ball) where Hutch went to see how the carrots and potatoes were coming along. But what of the Turnip they were growing in the Poly-Tunnel of Love?

This was the first commission of new work for young children by Capital Theatres and hopefully more will follow. This wasn’t just fun; the youngsters present could be heard commenting on the set/costumes (Ailie Cohen), lighting (Andrew Gannon) and music (Yas Clarke). Look what can be done with one set and just two performers!

A special mention should go to the plethora of puns dotted throughout the show, my personal favourite the Melancholyflower. Go see to obtain more enlightenment, it’s good for the grown-ups too. Or maybe that should read ‘groan-ups’.

Continues at The Studio, Edinburgh until 31st December – https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/the-enormous-christmas-turnip

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 18th December 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★