Christmas shows don’t come more cosy than Pins and Needles adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ much loved book, Father Christmas at Waterside Arts this December. The plot is simple: Father Christmas (AKA FC, played by Mike Aherne) gets up, feeds his pets, gets dressed, plans a holiday and then sets off around the world on a voyage of gift distribution before returning home and collapsing into bed. He does all of this with a gruff sense of humour, begrudgingly dancing to Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody and tucking into festive goodies with muted pleasure. The ‘day in the life’ narrative is broken up with set changes – a kitchen wall which becomes chimney tops, a bathroom that doubles as a deer shed – and puppetry courtesy of Richard Booth. FC’s whippet is a particularly memorable character while quirky (in a good way) music and sound effects are supplied by Kate Sobey. My 5-year-old twins are the perfect age for this show. Smiling and laughing throughout; one whispers half way though, “I don’t ever want this to end”. A magical experience that makes you wonder what all the normal people walking past you on the street are really getting up to on Christmas eve…
Tue 4 – Mon 31 Dec, Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF, Tel: 0161 912 5616. £10 – £16.50 www.watersidearts.org
For more family shows to enjoy this Christmas in Manchester, click here.
Published on: Mon 10 Dec 2018