Review: The Great Christmas Dig

This week I had the pleasure of watching HandMade Theatre’s new show The Great Christmas Dig, a festive adaptation of their previous show How Time Flies. The show centres around an archaeological treasure hunt that unwraps the secrets of Christmas as it goes, featuring facts about ancient Christmas traditions from the Romans to the Vikings. As you’re led through the doors into ‘Egypt’ what first strikes you is the beautiful set. Centre stage is a huge tent like structure, decorated with billowing red drapes. The tent is surrounded by handmade (they live up to their name) wooden stools and mats for families to perch on, immediately alerting the audience to the idea that this Christmas show might be a little different!

The lighting was also marvellous throughout and really helped to create a magical atmosphere in the room. It was clear that a lot of time and effort had gone into creating the perfect space for this archaeological extravaganza.

The trio of actors did an excellent job in engaging the children from start to finish by making sure everybody got a go at dancing and singing or decorating the Christmas tree. The cast sung songs, played instruments and used puppets expertly, ensuring that every child was giggling away at the adventure. The interactivity of the show was splendid and it was lovely to see the delight on the children’s faces as they were asked to make a Christmas wish with an electric candle they’d been given. Details such as the steam train and camel puppet were also brilliant features, as were the gorgeous camel Christmas decorations on sale after the show! Overall, a great start to Christmas time, and a fabulous show for all ages.

Gigi George, Marketing Assistant for HandMade Theatre Company