Writer: Raymond Briggs
Director: Emma Earle
Music/Sound: Lucy Rivers
Reviewer: Cavelle Leigh
This truly wonderful adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ book Father Christmas returns to the Lyric once again this year, to entertain children and their parents alike.
A simple tale, it brings to life the magic of Father Christmas as he hurries across the globe delivering presents in the midst of the night. It begins on Christmas Eve when poor ol’ Santa (lovable grump Barry McCarthy) realises he better prepare. Begrudgingly he rises from his bed, himself creaking more than his mattress, rustles up some breakfast, and wrestles and pleads with his pets, imaginatively ‘Cat’ and ‘Dog’ (energetic puppetry by Annie Brooks and Claire Harvey).
Throughout are perfectly synced, clever and comical sound effects and musical interludes, one being Stacey Ghent’s impression of a radio broadcast live from the Bad Forecasting Corporation, plummily declaring that ‘there’ll be snow, snow and…more snow!’. ‘Blooming marvellous.’ exclaims Santa, and not for the last time.
We follow him and his reindeer as they ascend to the starry, snowy skies, delivering presents to Paris, Rome, even the moon. The leaning tower of Pisa might just be a chimney wide enough for Santa. Oh but don’t leave him milk, he likes the strong stuff!
As he deftly creeps in bedrooms and dances upon rooftops on a big and colourful set that could well have been imagined by a child, even the most cynical must enjoy, and feel nostalgic for the excitement and merriment of Christmas.
Recommended for those under six it will bring squeals of delight and laughter to toddlers, their older siblings and their parents with its very funny script and engaging visuals- a Christmas feast!
Runs until 31stDecember 2014 | Photo Simon Annand