Now I love panto as much as the next person, but I’m also a sucker for the less obvious shows that feature over the festive period. There was no umming and ahhing about where I was going to lay down my cash this year when I heard that Handmade Theatre were performing The Twelve Birds of Christmas, a special Christmas edition of their delightful Flying the Nest production.
A playful, avian take on the tradition festive song, The Twelve Birds of Christmas replaced the usual bits and pieces we’ve sung about for years with different birds and interweaving it with a connecting story. The energetic cast of three sung, danced, goofed around and played numerous instruments throughout, all the while eliciting giggles and wiggles from the young and old in the audience.
The Nottingham-based company not only bring creativity, fun and engagement to young theatre goers, their sets make their shows wholly immersive affairs. Specifically here, we all got to cosy up in massive wicker nests to watch the show. And, unrestricted by formal seating, it gave the little folk the space to really feel a part of it all and join in as and when they pleased.
Filled with fun facts, stories, songs, puppetry, puns, counting and the odd child-delighting poo joke, there was something for all primary school ages in this piece. The balance of humour, education and interaction meant that I had a very eggcited five-year old on my lap and the fifty-minute set flew by. All in all, a fantastic way to kick off the Christmas holidays.