Review: The Mischief Before Christmas

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York Theatre Royal

There are no worries that young children – the show is aimed at children aged three to seven and their grown-ups – will get restless during this seasonal show from State of Play Theatre (formerly Tongue Tied Theatre) because there isn’t so much mischief as an adventure afoot.

Christmas spirits Twinkle and Jingle are on a mission to “get the Christmas spirit level right to the top”. But there’s a problem getting in the Yuletide groove as letters to Santa setting out the wishes and dreams of children around the world haven’t been delivered to him thanks to Frank, the most mischievous elf in the North Pole.

“Chill your bells, Jingle,” he says when they catch up with him, seemingly not at all worried his behaviour will spoil Christmas for countless youngsters.

To say that this show is all over the place is a statement of fact not a criticism as the action and the audience move around the theatre’s newly-renovated foyer spaces, both upstairs and downstairs and finally settle in an indoor marquee. This adds an additional interactive element to an undeniably fun adventure for both children and adults, although people in the theatre cafe looked a little perturbed by a horde of youngsters on the loose.

There’s snow, colourful lights, whacky characters (Lane Paul Stewart and Danielle Winter are the storytellers), puppets and of course it wouldn’t be a Christmas show without a ho-ho-ho appearance by Father Christmas himself.

To December 24.