Kids' show Little Ulla aims to bring the festive spirit to under 5s

Kids' show Little Ulla aims to bring the festive spirit to under 5s

The show features narrative, puppetry, music and song, as well as actors who know how to have fun

With panto gags way over the head of your average five-year-old, early years Christmas shows have an important job to do. Happily, one of last year’s most successful festive offerings is back out on tour.

The tale of a mountain goat who works as the village postie in her alpine home, Little Ulla was a hit with audiences and critics alike in 2011. What was the secret of its success?

‘It’s a very warm piece with a lot of heart, so children connect to the story emotionally,’ says the show’s co-creator, Clare McGarry. ‘It’s also a very silly show with lots of funny bits and amusing characters.’

A co-production between Scottish Opera and McGarry’s company, Grinagog Theatre, Little Ulla incorporates narrative, puppetry, music and song. Over the past four years, Grinagog has played to over 21,000 children aged 3–6, so McGarry knows how to hit the spot with pre-schoolers.

‘Young children make a brilliant audience, because they’re so willing to enter into the make-believe world,’ says McGarry. ‘But they can be quite unpredictable, which I like – you can’t be precious about anything going wrong. So I always find performers who are as comfortable being themselves in front of an audience as they are when they’re acting.'

Scottish Opera Production Studios, Glasgow, Wed 28 Nov–Sat 1 Dec, then touring.

Little Ulla

A Christmas show for little ones aged 3–7, with puppetry, interactive storytelling and music weaving the tale of a mountain goat who, despite sharing her love of apple strudel with the other goats, is a bit different from all the rest.

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