This new musical brings a tale from Scandinavian folklore to life with puppetry, catchy music (that we were still singing days later) and the twinkly mystique of pixie magic.
By Amy Brotherton
The rush of Christmas theatre is behind us now (“It’s behind you!” – sorry panto reflex, which I can put to bed now for 11 months) but luckily one lovely stage show that started when the festive lights were all up is running into February. We recommend you catch Pixie and the Pudding if you can.
I took my four-year-old daughter to see this family friendly play, at the always charming Little Angel Theatre, tucked away behind Upper Street in Islington.
While this Little Angel Theatre production does involve Christmas pudding and Christmas itself, it doesn’t feel specifically like a holiday show. The play’s themes and the questions that arise are pertinent year round.
The setting is a farm, where crops grow abundantly and the animals live happily. But the owner, no longer able to look after the place, has to sell it and move. The new owners, a young girl named Charlie and her dad move to the farm from the city. The dad is keen to get stuck in and enjoy their new rural life but Charlie strops about, missing her friends and not feeling the countryside appeal.
Everything changes when Charlie finds a note from the previous owner, passing on highly unexpected, yet crucial, information on how to keep the farm running smoothly. For years he’s made a pudding on Christmas Eve and left it out for a Pixie. The magical sprite then blesses the farm with good luck all year round, as thanks. Will the new owners follow this advice? Will the farm continue to thrive? You’ll have to go see it and find out, no spoilers here.
The animal puppets in this show are amazing. Designed and made by Lyndie Wright, each animal has details that really give them personality and bring them to life. I loved the shaggy dog and the pig who likes tummy rubs. Be sure to watch out for the chicken action. The performers Gilbert Taylor and Nix Wood weave in and out of their roles of humans and animal / pixie puppeteers with such ease. It’s a small stage but they create a wonderfully magical farm environment.
The theatre says the show is aimed at ages 4 – 11 and ‘younger children may not follow everything’. While initially I did just think my daughter saw colourful puppets, mysterious pixies and enjoyed the songs, when we spoke about the play later she’d actually understood more than I expected!
She’s already asked if we can make a pudding for our own house pixie.
Pixie and the Pudding runs at Little Angel Theatre until 2 February.