The Night After Christmas (4 stars)

The Night After Christmas

Imaginative celebration of cooking at Christmas for ages 3–6.

It's the night after the main event, the presents have been delivered and Rudolph and Santa are enjoying a well-earned nap. Two chefs, dressed in white jackets and checked trousers, are planning a feast for when they wake up.

Set in a bright blue kitchen decked out with gingham accessories, the chefs show their room to be a place of imagination and excitement, where all manner of tasty food can be created – if they could only decide what to make.

Both Mary Gapinksi and Rosalind Sydney are wonderfully expressive, and although their slapstick takes a while to warm up the audience it's soon drawing peals of laughter.

Written and directed by Lisa Keenan, The Night After Christmas offers plenty of opportunities for audience participation, encouraging everyone to point out carrots hidden on the set, tell the chefs their favourite foods and make the symbols of rooftops and stars as the pair whizz across the sky in a sleigh. A repeated rhyme about cooking, accompanied by chopping and stirring actions, is enthusiastically embraced and helps keep everyone engaged.

Each time the excitement peaks, the chefs bring it back down by shushing each other, and us, so we can all listen out for the snores of Santa and Rudolph, to check they haven't been disturbed by the noise.

The pair also animate a variety of kitchen utensils which help prepare the feast, to great comic effect. The sour-faced lemon juicer, stirring wooden spoon and military pepper grinder are reminiscent of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and help extend the cast beyond the chefs.

At the end, young audience members are offered chef hats and utensils of their own to play with, so this warm-hearted celebration of cooking for others might even mean there's an extra pair of hands in the kitchen this Christmas.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 31 Dec.

The Night After Christmas

Festive show for children aged 3–6 about two elves preparing a snack for Santa and Rudolph.

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