Dear Mummy, it’s nearly Christmas and we’re doing everything we can to keep our festive spirits up. Recently this included a trip to our local theatre to see a performance of The Night Before Christmas. It’s not the traditional story that we’re familiar with it’s a modern-day adaptation for young folk, like me, produced by Adam Bampton-Smith. Loosely based on the book with only slight references made to it during the performance as the characters read from it pages, it’s a fresh take on what happened at a little girls house on the night before Christmas
We arrived at The Haymarket in Basingstoke to see the performance by The Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company and co-produced with Brighton Dome, creators of the hit show Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Way Back Home and Aliens Love Underpants (which we saw at Camp Bestival!)
The show was 50 minutes perfect for little folk like me, as our attention spans aren’t too great, and aimed at families with children 2-7 years old. It’s a great show for those who are too young to sit through a full length pantomime and is a perfect introduction for young children to the theatre. The Haymarket, Basingstoke is a very family friendly theatre and we’ve been before to see Room on The Broom. There are booster seats available for children to sit on during performances and you are allowed to take snacks into the theatre from the cafe on site. When we entered the theatre the room was abuzz with excitement and anticipation with the curtains drawn and the scene set.
The play opens with Emily looking out of the window as she waits excitedly for Christmas Day to come. Her dad is downstairs celebrating and having a party which he cuts short after a drunk uncle has one too many and we heard muffled music. Emily is upset as she’s lost her mother’s bracelet that was given to her. While pacing she angrily discovers a little mouse taking refuge in her room and kicks him out on Christmas Eve, believing that mice shouldn’t celebrate Christmas.
But the mouse who’s called Eddie can’t understand why he is left out of festivities and starts on a quest to ask Father Christmas and get some answers. The mouse ventures back inside Emily’s house believing that he will see Father Christmas at the Christmas Tree when the presents are delivered. Along the way he encounters the bellowing family cat whose voice fills the auditorium and runs to hide from him. While up in the attic amongst the old toys and decorations of Christmas past, Eddie the mouse encounters a fearless Robot called Dymotron. Well, he seems fearless but actually he’s very unsure of himself and quite cowardly.
He’s our favourite character from the show and we loved his bright costume and David Brent-style persona and moves. Dymotron is the arch rival of Buzz Light Year, as he’s been living in his shadow for years and is the unloved toy left upstairs for his batteries to deteriorate. A little bit of audience participation helps to restore his battery life (after we find his button) and perk him up. He helps Eddie the Mouse navigate his way through the house and keeps him safe from the mischievous cat. Dymotron the Robot helped us to learn the value of courage against the odds, facing your fear of leaving a safe place and venturing into the unknown. This reminds me of meeting new friends and to not be scared of new situations.
Eddie the mouse’s adventure is about friendship, sharing and the real spirit of Christmas which is the main theme of the plot. We were also introduced to Lizzie the Christmas Fairy who takes a shine to Dymotron the Robot while he helps her finish all her tasks ready for Christmas Day. Lizzie the fairy taught us that it’s OK to not be funny all the time and try not to do too much at Christmas as people will be around to help. You just need to delegate and go with the flow.
The production features original music with some cool dance moves from the characters and we particularly liked Dymotron the Robot’s ‘Funky Button’ moves which made me giggle out loud, the audience participation was good and there was a wonderful surprise at the end of the show when Father Christmas flashed by and it started snowing on the stage.
Christmas IS for everyone and Emily learns this valuable lesson. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from – Christmas Spirit is all-inclusive. It’s a time to share love and friendship be happy and forgive. The Night Before Christmas show was a lovely start to the festive season and a really heart warming performance. My mummy loved watching my eyes light up as I was mesmerised by the three performers who rotated throughout the show. I joined in with the audience participation and learnt some funky moves which I happily demonstrated as I left with a smile on my face.
We’d definitely recommend a trip to the theatre this festive season. What a great start to December.
Love Bella x