2 January 2015

Christmas Storms and Sunshine at the White Bear Theatre was a nice Christmas treat

Christmas Storms and Sunshine sounded a little weird, in a good way, with the promise of puppetry, magic and the like but it was grounded in a story by Elizabeth Gaskell and performed at the White Near Theatre in Kennington, so it had a lot going for it. Besides, it would not be Christmas without Christmas shows.

It was a Friday and I was able to book a desk in the London office. Actually it was so quiet that two of us independently took pictures of the rows of empty desks and posted them to Instagram, this was mine. The quietness also meant that I was able to leave promptly, take the tube to Waterloo and walk the rest of the way.

I paused at The Dog House, a trendy pub near the theatre, where I had a pint of something unusual and something to eat that included haloumi. The pub was a good find and I'll remember it if I am back in that area.

Moving on to the next pub, the White Bear itself, I got a pint of Young's Ordinary to take in to the show. I did not have long to wait to get in as I had timed it well, not hard when the previous pub was only 500m away.

The cast were already busy doing things when we went in. There were only four of them I quickly learned, and all young women too. Here one of them is throwing things for the other to catch behind her back; I have no idea why.

As we took our seats they started to talk to us and one of them asked us to write insults which were put into a top hat and used later in the play.

The story was a simple but nice one of two feuding newspaper owners and their wives brought together at Christmas by a baby (played convincingly by a tape recorder) and a cat (it was the puppet).

I liked the story. It was cute without being overly so and it was full of Christmas Spirit. It was something like Dickens' Christmas stories (he wrote several) but with added humour.

What made the evening such fun was the delivery of the story. It was done pantomime-style with unconvincing costumes (such as the false moustaches made from paper), exaggerated acting and lots of playing to the audience. It looked as though the cast were having as much fun telling us the story as we had being told it.

Christmas Storms and Sunshine was a jolly little show and a nice Christmas treat.

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