ChildrensComedyPantomimeReviewSouth West

The Lock In: Christmas Carol, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter 

Devisor &Producer: Damien Barber
Choreographer: Bobak Walker
Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts 

The Lock In: Christmas Carol is a Christmas show with a difference. All singing, all dancing, this show comes at you from every angle. Devised and produced by Damien Barber of the folk group The Demon Barbers, the show has folk at its heart. The incredible live score runs throughout and is as much a part of the story as the dialogue 
tell-us-block_editedCouple this with the incredible talents of the dancers and choreographer Bobak Walker, and this turns into a high energy, entertainment extravaganza. From folk to hip-hop, dancers are jumping around the stage. Clog dancing, sword dancing, Morris and hip-hop, this show has got it all. It’s a credit to Walker’s choreography that it all flows together and nothing feels shoe-horned in. 
Set in the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub, Jasmineezer Scrooge has decided to shake things up this Christmas Eve and turn the old place into an UmpaTechno-bar, with no thought for her beloved regulars. Luckily, there are some spirits on hand to guide Jasmineezer through this magical tale. Visiting Christmas past, present and future, we get to see the old and new pub and the lively bunches who frequent her in all their glory. From hip techno timewasters to hip-hop, folk fusion that’s guaranteed to get you clapping along.  
Although a pub is an unusual setting for a family Christmas show, it works brilliantly. With kids and grownups laughing along equally. This is an irreverent take on the Dickins classic Christmas tale and an equally tongue-in-cheek take on a classic Panto, with a perfect balance of elements from both.  
The whole cast is fantastic, while frantically keeping up with The Demon Barbers’ fast-paced folk take on some classic Christmas tunes. Each cast member bringing their own style of dance to the table and creating an eclectic mix of dance delights. But they haven’t left the set out; a beautiful old-style bar, adorned with Christmas decorations and perfectly finished with a fully decorated tree brings the stage to life before the show has even started.
There’s musical chairs and a game featuring a giant Christmas pudding hurtling round the audience. With prizes to be won and fun to be had, this really is a perfect show for the whole family.  
Reviewed on 21 November 2016 then continuing to tour | Image: Contributed


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The Southwest team is under the editorship of Holly Spanner. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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