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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Have a Taste of Milligan this Christmas

Fancy a Christmas with Badjelly the Witch, Sir Nobonk and King Twytt? Well, this year you can as Chickenshed Theatre Company presents Spike Milligan’s most-loved children’s stories and poems in their production of Badjelly’s Bad Christmas.

The annual Christmas show this year focuses on sisters Kate and Laura as they help their Grandad regain his missing baubles from Badjelly the Witch, and in doing so take a trip to the Land of the Bumbly Boo and The Ning Nang Nong.

The whole play is a jumble of nonsense, but Spike Milligan style nonsense, which as been magically crafted together by David Carey.

Of course, they have left no classics out and so Milligan fans, you may breathe a sigh of relief. Carey has incorporated the Ying Tong song and the poem of The Ning Nang Nong to capture Milligan’s greatest works.

Humour is not amiss in this show and you would be a bah humbug if you were to sit the two hours without a giggle. The rap battle scene has the audience in fits of laughter and the directing of Louise Perry and Mary Ward should be congratulated, as the stage is buzzing with energy.

Without a doubt many would agree that there are three particular talents in this production. These three being the signers of the show. They dance, act and sign the show for any audience members who may be deaf or hard of hearing. They are in fact so outstanding there comes a point when you realise, rather than watching the characters, you are instead watching them, especially as it is not every day you see rapping being translated to sign language.

Although, for those of you who roll your eyes at the typical Christmas pantomimes featuring “He’s behind you!” gags, you may wish to be cautious. The performance does feature more than enough booing and hissing for the average taste. So be prepared, it’s not just a show you can just sit and relax to.

Despite this, the production is one for many. Adults will remember Milligan’s poems and stories from their childhood and children will enjoy the endearing craziness of the story and characters the show encounters. In all, a light hearted show for the family.

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