Saturday 10 December 2011

The Lost Christmas @ Waterloo East Theatre

I'll put it out there, I'm not a fan of panto.  It means that theatres are fraught with danger during the Christmas period.

Luckily, the Waterloo East Theatre have The Lost Christmas to save the holiday season. 

Laurence Mark Wythe has written a rather sweet Christmas musical which is fun for all the family.  In the present day, Santa cancels Christmas when he loses faith in the materialistic nature of the youth of today.  And in the year 3999, the world is taken over by robots and Christmas doesn't even exist.  The story brings these two timelines together in a collision of festive cheer, where young girl Sophie must journey to the North Pole to save Christmas.

It's a Christmas story with a futuristic twist, though of course retaining a sense of the cheesy "true" meaning of Christmas.  It's far from schmaltzy however, and turns away from the obvious style of panto humour.  As a result, children will be swept along with the adventure, whilst adults will appreciate the subtle innuendo.  Katie Brennan's turn as Sophie's mother, in particular her solo song Action Man, provided humorous moments aplenty for the more mature members of the audience.  Other members of the cast, such as Natalie Law as comedic (yet underused) Elfina and Erica Birtles as the wide-eyed, innocent Sophie, excelled in their respective parts - the ensemble was tightly knit and their enjoyment was infectious.

The set, consisting of stacked presents to represent the various buildings, was cleverly implemented - simple yet appropriate.  Most importantly, the songs were filled with toe-tapping tunes played solely and commendably by Jodie Oliver on piano, which the audience couldn't help but sing along to as they left the auditorium.

A small-scale yet utterly lovely show, The Lost Christmas perfectly embodies the festive spirit.


Watch: The Lost Christmas is on at the Waterloo East Theatre until the 23rd December.