Review: The Night Before Christmas

West Yorkshire Playhouse 4/5

The Night Before Christmas at the Playhouse in Leeds.
The Night Before Christmas at the Playhouse in Leeds.

Amy Leach is the director who brought us the hit children’s show Little Sure Shot at West Yorkshire Playhouse. So it was with great anticipation that we approached her yuletide offering. And it didn’t disappoint.

At first we wonder how stubborn Carol (Rose Warlaw) will ever get into the Christmas spirit as she sends her neighbour packing and plans for an early night on Christmas Eve.

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But when Elf 30046 (James Barrett) comes down her chimney she is forced into an adventure that turns her tiny house into a sparkling Xmas celebration.

There are great costumes and props and the set by Amelia Jane Hankins also does much to enchant with its terrific transformation as the two actors take to the rooftop and seek Santa in the night sky.

This is no spoiler but suffice it to say that Carol’s initial party-pooping gives way to a great rock’n’roll onstage dance for all the toddlers in the audience.

Jack Wilson’s Reet Petite gets the crowd grooving and swinging and we are treated to a flurry of snow too.

This show will have even the most shy youngster starry-eyed and unabashedly involved and, as so often with Christmas shows, there are plenty of in-jokes for the adult audience too.

• At West Yorkshire Playhouse until January 2.