FamilyFestive 17/18North WestReview

The Siege of Christmas – Contact, Manchester

Director: Alan Lane

Reviewer: Andrea Allen

Bad news everyone. The spirit of Christmas has been cancelled and the audience has been barricaded outside of Contact by a team of militant mince pies. This is The Siege of Christmas, and you’d better be wearing comfy shoes, because you’re the crack team who’s been tasked with finding the spirit of Christmas trapped somewhere inside castle Contact.

A family-friendly festive frenzy, The Siege of Christmas decks little ones and their adults in a set of
headphones and whisks them on a backstage journey of Contact. Hiding in the shadows isn’t an option, you’re getting involved, whether it’s belting out Christmas carols, figuring out a way to refreeze a melting snow-woman or guessing the lyrics in the wrapping fairy’s rap, this isn’t a show for families expecting a dark room, a sit down and an ice-cream.

Slung Low excel in being able to appeal to all ages, with a couple of naughty tongue in cheek references along the way, most notably a Christmas Cracker who laments ever being able to ‘get pulled’ or ‘have a bang’ every festive season. The kids are rapt in awe at the sight of a life-size Christmas cracker, the adults have a little giggle, then everyone bounds on in equal enthusiasm to the next stage of the adventure.

This is a Christmas show for families who prefer sparkle, magic and intimacy in an audience of 30 to high budget sterile commercialism in an auditorium of 1000. Children clutch secret maps and fairy dust and actors respond to impromptu outbursts and tugs on their sleeves from tiny hands. This is family theatre as it should be, it’s only failing being that it doesn’t quite match the enchanting magic of Slung Low’s previous offering 59 Minutes to Save Christmas. Skip the big shows this Christmas and drag your little ones to this, it’ll be the best decision you make in 2017.

Runs until 20 December 2017 | Image: Joel C Fildes



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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. 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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