The Lost Elves (4 stars)

The Lost Elves

credit: Robbie McFadzean

Funny, cute and clever immersive show for the festive season

Sometimes, red and green should definitely be seen. This is the colour palette for Jack Nurse's adorable show (with gorgeous set and costume design from Alisa Kalyanova), The Lost Elves – a heartwarming, hilarious tale for frosty days.

Caught in a blizzard, some eccentric elves accidentally fall to earth – Glasgow, specifically. So now they need to face off against rival shopping mall elves, find a magical snow globe, and take a trip across the Necropolis, Queens Park and Sauchiehall Street, encountering spooky ghosts and gallus neds along the way. Even the Duke of Wellington statue gets off his horse at one point, and joins in the shenanigans.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students Oat Jenner, Veera Lapinkoski and Adam Parkinson play the elves with acrobatic glee and their own bizarre language, and are an absolute delight from the second they tumble on stage. Robbie Gordon's choreography is witty and frenetic, but he also knows when to keep it simple.

Meanwhile, hot on their trail and busting out some serious Ninja moves, is the CIA (in this case, Christmas Inconspicuous Agency) played by Alana Jackson, Angus Taylor and Sam Stopford (also from the RCS) who are more grumpy than full of cheer. Best of all, the audience gets involved by helping the teams.

It's not all pratfalls and fart jokes -– Nurse cunningly slots in lines about austerity culture and climate change, yet it's digestible enough for the whole family. The talking fish, the elves explain, has plastic in its mouth because of humans, as people are too keen to toss aside Christmas wrapping paper instead of recycling.

VanIves' music is insanely catchy too, making tots and adults alike wriggle and wiggle.

A smart show that looks at Glasgow in a whole new way, while making everyone feel the true spirit of Christmas, The Lost Elves is a wee gem.

Tramway, Glasgow, until Sun 29 Dec.

The Lost Elves

Festive production from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland about a group of elves crash-landing in Glasgow, and their journey back to the North Pole to help Santa finish making presents in time for Christmas. Suitable for ages 3–6.

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