Review: Rudolf at Midlands Art Centre (MAC).

So we’re in full-on Christmas mode in our household. The tree is up, we’ve visited Father Christmas and I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve watched Nativity over the past few weeks. We were invited by the team at Midlands Art Centre (MAC) to go and watch their new festive production, Rudolf, earlier this month and it didn’t disappoint.

We haven’t taken Harley to a theatre show before so excited didn’t even cover it despite the fact he wasn’t feeling 100%. When we arrived the theatre was buzzing as there was a Christmas craft fayre and we quickly managed to find the merchandise stand for the Rudolf show and brought Harley a light-up snowman wand, which at £2.50 was reasonably priced. Excitement had now reached a new level.

Rudolf at Midlands Art Centre. (L-R Tea Poldervaart, Hannah Bristow, Lakesha Cammock) Credit Robert Day

After stocking up on snacks and Harley having his nose painted red (we were offered it free of charge on the way into the theatre – a lovely touch) we took our seats in the theatre, looking onto the setting for the show – the Starry Safari Park. Whilst people were taking their seats members of the cast asked whether anybody in the audience would like to get involved and help the rangers sweep up. Harley’s hand went straight up and within seconds he was on-stage sweeping hay on the floor, he was so happy when he came back to his seat just before the show started.

The production focuses on Rudolf the Reindeer who gets lost and ends up rather confused about her identity at the Starry Safari Park. Along the way we meet various animals from the park including Sven the Snake and Flamenco Flamingo, as well as the fabulous Baggie the Owl who befriends Rudolf.

Rudolf at Midlands Art Centre. Harley fully embracing the Rudolf look.

The set was simple but utilised brilliantly, with props acting as musical instruments at times.

I don’t want to give too much away but the show had Harley mesmerised. It completely captured his imagination and despite me worrying that he’d not want to sit still for the duration of the show (60 minutes), I was pleasantly surprised – he loved it! There were also a few jokes thrown in for the grownups and a couple of references to the gridlock traffic so many of us have experienced on the A38!

It’s top marks from us – the production, actors and storyline left us feeling ridiculously Christmassy and we were sure to pick up a programme on the way out to start planning what other productions we’ll be going to see in 2019.

The production is running at MAC until the end of the month, find out more and book tickets here.

Rudolf –  co-production between Midlands Art Centre and Pins & Needles Productions.

Cast

Hannah Bristow (Rudolf)

Lakesha Cammock (Baggie)

Tea Poldervaart (The Earl)

Creative Team

Writer: Mike Akers

Director: Anna Girvan

Designer: Charlotte Cooke

Composer: Stuart Barter

Puppet Director: Laura Cubitt

Lighting Designer: Claire Childs

Stage Manager: Lucy Price

Disclaimer: We were gifted tickets to Rudolf by Midlands Art Centre in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

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