Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Father Christmas is on his annual rounds and enjoys a few too many drinks and nibblies – now he really, really needs a wee!
It is Christmas Eve and Father Christmas hasn’t woken up yet. Fortunately his head elf, Elfie, is on hand to make sure the day goes smoothly. Last year Santa was distracted by all the yummy food left out for him and he forgot to deliver the presents.
On a compact but very versatile stage Elfie (Kate Lindsey) uses both script and song to explain to the audience of young children and their parents that Father Christmas – aka Santa or F.C. (James Worthington) – is disorganised and easily distracted, and it’s just as well she is there to keep him on track this year. She will be going along tonight as his Elf and Safety officer!
As you can imagine F.C. is again wooed by all the lovely cakes, even being convinced by a giant Christmas mince pie (a rapping mince pie puppet called Mince P) to eat him – which he does – and then washes it all down with lots of lovely milk.
Voice-overs extend the sorry and move it along as the duo move from house to house, Santa drinking and eating more until they finally reach the last house and of course, Father Christmas Needs a Wee!
This show, a musical of just under an hour, certainly catered to the younger audience members, the 3 to 7 year olds in particular. Miss S & Master T who attended with me were less impressed at 10 & 12 years of age.
Sections of the set rotate to change the background from house to house and eventually back to F.C.’s place – his outhouse to be precise. Props are kept to a minimum, with puppets, lighting and pre-recorded music, voice-overs and narration utilised to keep the cast to just the two performers.
While Lindsay and Worthington play their respective roles very well, engaging the children and making good use of the stage area (including the audience at times), some of the singing was slightly off pitch and songs a little too long for the young audience. To their credit though, songs generally ended with one of the characters, usually Santa, interacting with the front rows. The children were especially engaged during some of the song choruses and I would have liked to have seen more choruses repeated with the children encouraged to join in, rather than the overlong verses. One song in particular had the children dancing in their seats, and is still being sung by Miss S, “You’ve got to wiggle. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Cross your legs and then you’ve got to jiggle.”
Overall ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee!’ is a lovely show for the under 7’s. There isn’t really anything in it for the adults but watching their children enjoy the story is probably entertainment enough.