Tinsel Toon (3 stars)

Tinsel Toon

credit: John Johnston

Show for pre-schoolers offers a feast for the eyes but not quite enough for the ears

A tiny town, covered with tiny wooden houses fills the stage, each one beautifully lit from within. For any pre-schooler, used to playing with similar structures at home and nursery, it's a comfortingly familiar yet exciting sight. This, we're told in enthusiastic rhyme by performers Mary Gapinski and Isabelle Joss, is Tinsel Toon, where everybody is kind to each other and neighbours work as a team to get things done.

Gapinski and Joss move from one property to the next, plucking a single prop from inside to represent its occupants: a balloon for 'Pop', a miniature cake for the baker, a pair of maracas for the dancing couple. It's a lovely idea, which the duo execute with great physical characterisation and no shortage of energy.

When they do much the same thing again, this time due to a town crisis about Christmas decorations, the idea starts to run out of steam. And the regular asides from two local commentators (aka nosey neighbours) isn't enough to give the storyline the boost it needs.

Visually, there's so much to drink in here that it's a shame some gentle interaction with the audience isn't used to re-energise little ones, and put a smile on the faces of the grown-ups sitting next to them.

Reviewed at Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Tinsel Toon

Get into the Christmas spirit with this play directed by Lisa Keenan.

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