22 December 2017

The Little Match Girl at Tabard Theatre

The Little Match Girl looked like the sort of play that I should see at Christmas and Tabard Theatre was a convenient place to see it so I booked early. Not quite early enough for the usual front for but seat B5 was fine as was the £19.5 that it cost me.

Usually I'd eat in the pub downstairs beforehand but this time I had to rush to Museum of Architecture in South Kensington beforehand to catch the very end of an exhibition there and I took the opportunity to eat the obligatory avocado on toast at the wonderful Fernandez & Wells.

Moving on to Tabard I took advantage of their mulled wine and mince pie offer before taking my seat in the theatre.

The Little Match Girl was a very musical musical with (probably) more singing than speaking. There were something like 37 songs in something under two hours. Even at Ramones' rate of a song lasting two minutes that is about 80 minutes of songs in about 100 minutes of drama.

The story, which I did not know, was a little of the life and a lot of the dreams of a very poor girl selling matches on the street. In real life she was thrown out of her home by her own father but in her dreams she is looked after and loved. In the end the real life wins.

At one level it was a deeply depressing, and relevant, story and while the sentiments of it were very appropriate for Christmas (care for the poor) it was not as jolly as might have been expected for a Christmas show. Making it more Christmassy were the dream sequences and all of the songs, including the chart topping Mistletoe and Wine. The large cast helped a lot too and while they were all good and fully committed to their roles it has to be Emily Cochrane who gets a special mention as the match girl herself.

The Little Match Girl was a fine show and a fine way to prepare for Christmas.

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