Review of The Magic of Christmas: A family presentation that pleases everybody

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Theatre

The Christmas Magic

Internet Pitlochry Festival Theatre

With Neil Fassbinder

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The regular Christmas extravaganza of Pitlochry may have been kicked to the curb along with almost any other seasonal entertainment, but that has not stopped the festive entertainment potential.

Shopkeepers Clare Grogan and Colin McCredie open the door to a festive yarn at the very magical Tinsel and Tartan Shop in Stirling, in which sassy elves Lari and Hari set out to find the North Star after losing it in a dark hole of science fiction.

The journey of our dynamic pair starts with an Advent version of the Twelve Days of Christmas before seeking guidance from Mrs. Claus of Grogan, who sings Jingle Bells in her Garden of Art, where stories develop, music flourishes and creative power reigns. Christmas can only be taken home by a ride to outer space, where McCredie’s Santa Claus is already in the air.

This 30-minute living grotto of a show, based on a short play by Newman and associate director Amy Liptrott, filmed after dark and shot under Covid-safe conditions in the PFT’s tantalizingly icy-looking greenhouse, makes a virtue of circumstance and performs miracles to bring it to life.

Driven by Barbara Hockaday’s fairground organ arrangements, who also plays Lari as Hari alongside Ali Watt, she manages to create a wonderland of music. All of this comes from the production design of Newman, made even more marvelous by the transparent lighting of Jeanine Byrne. This all makes for a family-friendly event you don’t want to miss.

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