This past week we visited one of my most favourite places in the world, Northern Stage, to see their under 6s show, The Christmas Grump We have been to see the under 6's show every year since my Peanut was born and we have loved each and every one of them, you can read our review of last years Tallest Tales from The Furthest Forest here. Everything about the Northern Stage under 6's show is perfect for children (and their grown ups!) The casual seating arrangement and informal feel, the fabulous set and brilliant songs, the superbly written story and fantastic performances from the cast.
This Years show The Christmas Grump is the story of Mr Scratch who should be cockerhoop happy, he's a toymaker and he's rich what more could you need. But Mr Scratch is a grump and he need to learn some lessons, from three very lovely children, who just love Christmas. Inspired by Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol, you'd already got that hadn't you? The Christmas Grump is a brilliant story, written by Susan Mulholland and Directed by Mark Calvert with a gorgeous set created by Andrew Stephenson. The costumes are lovely and the songs (all original music by Kate Doherty) will have you singing along, and tapping your feet so its a good job that the story and CD are available to buy when you are there. Performances are brilliant from the small cast , only four members. Who are woderfully funny, engaging and convincing all at the same time.
Without any doubt both mine and Termites favourite part of the show is the Christmas Elves, the whole scene had me chuckling heartily.
Your cast are:
- Ruth Johnson - after playing the Penguin in The Prince and The Penguin, Mole in The Wind in the Willows and starring in Shhh... A Christmas Story Ruth is delighted to be back at Northern Stage for Christmas.
- Alice Blundell – a graduate of NORTH, Alice has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Theatre 503 and has been a member of the National Youth Theatre since 2005. She performed at Northern Stage in 2011 as part of Springboard, was a founder member of The Letter Room and is very happy to be back for her first professional job.
- Michael Blair – also a graduate of NORTH and a member of The Letter Room, Michael graduated from Northumbria University, has featured in new writing festivals (INK), undertaken improvisation workshops with The Suggestibles and performed extensively at The People’s Theatre in Newcastle.
- Alexandra Tahnee - after appearing in Byker Grove in her teens Alex went on to study at RADA and East 15 before returning to the North East to take part in NORTH. She recently performed in Jerusalem at The People’s Theatre. Alex first performed at Northern Stage as part of Springboard 2011 and is delighted to be back
This visit was just for Termite and I and she happily sat watching the show and munching her snacks for the full hour, with a little break for dancing and clapping to the tunes of course. Which in my book is high praise indeed, if you can keep a 15 month toddler enthralled you've cracked it for the rest of your audience! I cant wait to go back after Christmas with Peanut and The Golden Child as well and they are really excited and even though she's now a big 6 year old my Peanut will not here any talk of not seeing the 'little show' as she has always called it!
For us Christmas isnt complete without a visit to northern Stage and if you can only do one thing this Christmas it should definatley be coming to see The Christmas Grump it is another resounding success from a marvelous creative team and brilliant cast. If you haven't booked your tickets I would get them sorted quick smart because this show is a real popular one. You can book online and you can connect with Northern Stage on Facebook or Twitter
Keep you eyes peeled for our review of Get Santa next wee.
All pictures courtesy of Topher Mcgrillis