SANTAS NEW SLEIGH
Santa’s New Sleigh is booking now, please see Sam Bradshaw Productions for further information
Western Park Gazette – Helen Knott
Why on earth would you pay money to go and see Father Christmas in a department store when you could be seeing him at Curve? Santa’s New Sleigh is a lovely Curve production for the little believers in your world. Dibs and Sprocket, played by Victoria Croft and Ian Keir Attard are on the mark as ditzy, fast moving Elves trying to get Santa’s new sleigh ready for the big night. Sprocket has been napping on the job, Elf and Safety need to be obeyed and the sleigh is in pieces. With the help of snow, singing and little fingers they might just be ready. Director Tim Ford has put together a combination of cracker jokes and slapstick which kept my little one in stitches and they had no shortage of volunteers from the audience to help make the sleigh look good for Santa.
Chris Tutty’s set is suitably magical for the elves workshop, very good wrapping, and a better elf costume is not to be found in all the land. It was lovely to see the interaction between the elves and the children as a sort of orderly chaos reigned and the story was kept on track but something new created. The big man arrived with just enough fanfare not to be terrifying and he was immediately surrounded by children wanting to say hello and collect their gift. At around an hour, the production was spot on for under fives with short attention spans and parents are allowed to take pictures of their kids as they participate. It’s a lovely way to warm up to Christmas.
J&PR Ltd – Shrewsbury
Christmas is coming and Theatre Severn has an extra treat in store for families with Santa’s New Sleigh showing in the run-up to the big day. It’s a smaller scale production than Cinderella, the panto which is drawing the crowds over the festive season, but the Walker Theatre offers a more intimate occasion with fantastic audience participation. Dibs and Sprocket the elves in charge of Santa’s Workshop keep everyone entertained as they frantically try to get the sleigh ready for his big delivery on Christmas Eve.
They need the audience’s help to fix the sleigh, which starts off by helping to wake up the lazy but loveable elf, Sprocket.
There are plenty of songs and singalong opportunities with the audience tasked with various actions to Jingle Bells – and of course a bit of good old fashioned panto-style shouting (DON’T TOUCH THE LEVER!!). Sprocket provides much of the laughs with some classic slapstick moments and well-crafted jokes, including one involving a telephone which my five-year-old son was reciting for the rest of the day. The performance ends with an appearance by Santa himself complete with a sprinkling of snow which really adds to the magic.
There is an opportunity for every child in the audience to sit with Santa in his sleigh, have the obligatory photo and receive a Christmas present, which is a lovely way to cap off a charming performance. Santa’s New Sleigh is a real treat, especially suited to families with younger children