People’s Republic of South Devon – left-leaning news and views from South Devon
Christmas magic lingers in the library air – Christmas Past and Present show from Boo to a Goose (review)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2017 BY PRSD
The scent of cinnamon greets you upon arrival to the Christmas Past and Present performance, which is visiting Devon Libraries. This is a show that helps create one of those seasonal memories to share. And that it is touring libraries makes it incredibly accessible.
This is a world of counting sleeps ’til Christmas, where a sometimes naughty elf pops up to create mischief, and children and parents join in with singing, jingling bells, and decorating trees.
This sensory show beguiles and engages all the way. The large audience – who were mainly toward the younger age of the younglings at the show I saw in Newton Abbot – bubbled and ‘ahhed’ and hushed by their own accord in response to the action. There was even a quiet ‘wow’ of wonder when Santa emerged to tell the final story in his best suit.
The simple set offers a fire-side visual focus, as well as being the stage to the mischievous elf. But it’s the atmosphere the performers create that is central.
Marie Cassidy has an easy charm as Mother Christmas. She’s unfazed by any mischievousness and has a quietly energetic gran-like efficiency about her. And Mark Cassidy’s helpful and dedicated Father Christmas is perfect.
One shock of this gentle and interactive performance were the delicate and tuneful singing voices of the parents, grandparents, relatives and carers, who joined in effortlessly when invited.
The tone of Christmas Past and Present is just right. There’s enough for younger young ones as well as older young ones to get something out of it (and yes, that does include the designated adults). And the grin-inducing atmosphere will stay with you way after the performance ends, which can only be put down to the lingering Christmas magic.
And because it’s Christmas, Mother and Father Christmas offer the gift of a book at the end of the performance, through the sponsorship of the Book Trust and some extra dosh from the Arts Council.
Plus there’s some more fun to take away – during the show the children are asked to suggest names for two baby reindeer they meet. They can continue their suggestions through the Boo to a Goose Theatre Facebook page, and the final names will be announced in a special Christmas Eve message.
Catch Christmas Past and Present at a library near you…
December 11: Tavistock Library (11am) BSL signed
December 13: Crediton Library (11am)
December 13: Okehampton Library (4pm)
December 14: Honiton Library (4pm)
December 15: Dawlish Library (4pm)
If you miss the Christmas Past and Present library tour, you can still meet Mother and Father Christmas – Boo to a Goose will also be appearing in the Grotto at Bishops Palace Wells on December 17 and 23, and for ‘Breakfast with Santa’ at Toby Carvery, Exmouth.