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Robin And The Big Freeze, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton, Dec 9
On entering the theatre it’s clear this is a celebration of the imagination.
A pianist plays Christmassy tunes but other than that there’s none of the usual tinsel and other paraphernalia that usually accompanies a Christmas show. Instead there is an intriguing mish-mash of everyday garden items; a tree, a dug-over vegetable patch, a wheel barrow, a washing-line and musical instruments.
As soon as the performers arrive these items become animated in their hands, telling a delightfully seasonal winter tale of nature’s initiative in the face of adversity. Mixing puppets with actors to populate this simple story, Unpacked Theatre make the mundane magical. With gorgeous original songs and gentle slapstick, the children in the audience remain enraptured.
There are lessons aplenty within the show: firstly that survival for our native birds in the freezing winter is a battle and we all have a part to play in helping them survive. Secondly, what we all need is friends and friends know how to share and stick together.
Finally, if a theatre company is truly inventive they can create a magical show for children without a huge budget and flashy gimmicks, trusting instead in children’s unlimited ability to visualise and imagine.
This show is perfect for anyone who loves birds, nature, creativity and fun. Plus the timing is unbelievable. As the temperatures outside plummet and the news is full of the big freeze this is a great way to warm your cockles.