If ever there was a year that we needed The Magic of Christmas then perhaps it’s this one! And Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in association with Macrobert Arts Centre, have stepped up to the plate to bring us a filmed production in place of their usual seasonal offering. The Magic of Christmas is written by Elizabeth Newman and Russell Beard with Newman also directing.
We start off at the all-year round Christmas shop in the heart of Stirling, Tinsel and Tartan (a shop which actually exists, and sells some fantastic Scottish inspired Christmas decorations), before being magically transported to Santa’s magic garden. Hari the elf has been playing football with the reindeers, but in the absence of a ball they’ve used the North Star which had been taken down for cleaning.
The reindeers kicked the North Star so hard that now it can’t be found, so Hari sets off with fellow elf, Lari, in search of the magical object that Santa will rely on to deliver presents across the world. As an audience it falls to us to help, and of course, Mr and Mrs C step in to lend a hand too.
The sun may have set when the cameras started rolling, but Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Explorers Garden, which is where this adventure was filmed, looks truly enchanting. A whole festive installation has been created, and even on screen it will delight young audience members who want to join the search for the North Star.
Ali Watt and Barbara Hockaday as Hari and Lari make the perfect guides for our journey, taking us from Santa’s giant advent calendar all the way to Outer Space, with plenty of song and dance in between, including a spirited 12 Days of Christmas. Colin McCredie and Clare Grogan join in the fun as Mr and Mrs C, always ready to share some words of wisdom or get another song on the go.
While it’s definitely all fun, there’s a moral to the story for younger viewers, who learn that honesty is always the best policy, and sharing a problem with friends is the easiest way to find a solution. One section, in Mrs C’s Art Garden, reminds us how special art is, and how it needs to be nurtured to grow.
The team at Pitlochry Festival Theatre have done a marvellous job of creating this production in the most difficult circumstances. The Magic of Christmas is the ideal way to celebrate the festive season, and will surprise and delight viewers of all ages. Ticketholders who are lucky enough to be able to get to Pitlochry can visit Santa’s Magic Garden in the specially created installation, but for those of us who can’t, the production really does bring the magic of Christmas right in to our own homes.
The Magic of Christmas can be streamed 9th – 23rd December 2020 from Pitlochry Festival Theatre