After getting my tickets sorted for The Snowman at Coventry Cathedral, I’ve scoured the programmes from other West Midlands arts venues to see what Christmas shows/events are not to missed this winter. What better way to get into the festive spirit than enjoying a bit of culture and allow yourself to get wrapped up in the magic? I’ve picked my favourites featuring shows from mac Birmingham, Warwick Arts Centre, and Artrix.
Little Angel Theatre’s ‘Me…’ at mac birmingham
Me… at mac birmingham is a Little Angel Theatre production based on the book by Emma Dodd. I’ve been following Little Angel Theatre for years, although until now, I’ve not had the opportunity to see any of their work myself. They specialise in live puppetry, and there’s something really charming and beautiful about all the images and videos I’ve seen from past productions.
The world is a very big place, especially for a tiny baby penguin who is just finding her feet. The shimmering stars and glistening snow spin around our little hero, while the mountains tower high and the wind rushes to and fro. And although baby penguin may be small her family know she’s the biggest thing of all.
Me… is sure to be a visual delight and I’m sure it’ll capture the hearts and imaginations of all who go and see it. This is definitely one we don’t want to miss. It’s run in Birmingham is a little early in the Christmas season (10.30am and 1.15pm from Wednesday 15 November to Thursday 30 November), which makes it perfect for not clashing with any other festive plans you may have. Recommended for ages 2 – 6 years, with a special price for babes in arms.
We’ll be there: we’re seing this production on Saturday 18 November at 10.30am, so let me know if you have tickets too and I’ll be sure to say hello!
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt at Warwick Arts Centre
Last Christmas, Pickle’s Nanny Pol bought him a copy of We’re Going On a Bear Hunt and I love that it’s this year’s festive show at Warwick Arts Centre. I’ve fallen a bit in love with Michael Rosen ever since I watched him perform his award-winning book on a Facebook Live last year (you can see him do it on YouTube here!), and so I always try and do the story justice when Pickle and I read it together. I’d love to see if he recognises the story during the live performance, and if the trailer is anything to go by – it looks set to be a fun filled adventure!
Join our intrepid family of adventurers and their musical dog on their quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure!
This production takes place in The Goose Nest, Warwick Art Centre’s temporary theatre space for the next coming months. There are plenty of opportunities to see this production, as it plays from 29 November to 7 January, with various times throughout the day, recommended for ages 3+.
Snow Mouse at Warwick Arts Centre
For younger audiences, Warwick Arts Centre is offering Snow Mouse this year, produced by the egg in Bath and Travelling Light Theatre Company. If the above video trailer is anything to go by, this is top of my list of events to take Pickle to. It’s been created for little ones aged from 3 months to 4 years, and if a little mouse puppet frolicking around a snowy studio isn’t enough to get you in the Christmas mood, I don’t know what is! It sounds utterly delightful.
Just when they start to feel a bit lonely they find a sleeping mouse buried under the soft white flakes. Sliding, tumbling and laughing, they explore the winter wonderland together and keep each other safe and warm from the winter freeze. Come and join the two new friends on their adventures in a magical forest full of play, puppetry and music.
Running throughout December with various performance times during the day, this 40 minute production also has a couple of relaxed performances if you think your child would benefit from a slightly quieter, more informal environment. This is one I think shouldn’t be missed.
We’ll be there: we’re seeing this production on Friday 1st December at 11.30am – definitely let me know if you’ll be there too.
Festival of Light 2017 in Bromsgrove
Back when I worked at mac birmingham, I had so much fun volunteering for their Sounding the River event, which celebrated their 50th birthday with a special light, sound and performance installation that took audiences on a journey of discovery along the River Rea and through Cannon Hill Park. It was magical and I’ve been keeping my eye out for similar events ever since. Bromsgrove’s Festival of Light is a large-scale, multi-faith lantern procession through the town’s centre, and I love the ethos behind it: the idea of searching for and celebrating Bromsgrove’s community spirit.
Artrix are working with Kristoffer Huball and outdoor arts company Beautiful Creatures to contribute a 20ft giant puppet to proceedings. I’m imagining getting wrapped up warm, with hats, gloves and scarves and maybe a flask of hot chocolate and heading down to take in the spectacle. It’s completely free to attend, taking place on Sunday 17 December at 5pm.
And a few extras…
If none of these take your fancy (although, I can’t imagine why not), our wonderfully culturally rich area has a few other gems up its sleeve, including The Snow Dragon at Birmingham Hippodrome and what sounds like an exciting production of The Hundred and One Dalmatians at the Birmingham REP. I’d love to know if you’ve booked any Christmas shows over the next couple of months – and let me know if there’s something you think I’ve missed.