Santa’s Little Workshop

Reviewed by Flossie Waite
Presented by Little Angel Theatre

Running until 24th December
For ages 3-9

For any 3 – 9-year-olds looking to get ahead in the jobs market, Santa’s Little Workshop offers excellent elf work experience. It’s a typical shadowing scheme, with new recruits following Tinsel Toes, Curly Tash and Frosty the Supervisor to gain insight into the different departments at Santa’s Grotto – Islington Branch. Starting with some simple filing tasks in Santa’s sorting room, there’s also a chance to get practical experience on the workshop floor, helping the elves to make their monthly toy targets, and to enjoy one of the company perks – the in-house Little Elf Cinema. And, if you’re lucky, your line manager might even set up a meeting with the Boss…

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After four years of seeing a couple of children’s shows a week, it was at Santa’s Little Workshop that I most wished I was a child. Don’t get me wrong: even as a woman in her late-20s, I got a lot out of it (not least a puppet elf crafted out of a wooden spoon), but I wish that this promenade performance, with its attention to detail, ability to elicit wonder, and hands-on festive fun, had existed 20 years ago – little me would have loved it.

For many, theatre is part of the Christmas tradition, with pantomimes or ballets like The Snowman and The Nutcracker appearing every festive period. Slavka Jovanovic’s production definitely deserves a place alongside them. While those productions, often staged end-on in large theatres, can be marvelled at from a distance, the intimate promenade experience of Santa’s Little Workshop invites its audience to directly immerse themselves in the magic. It’s the best and most Christmassy mini-internship anyone could ever wish for.

Children’s Theatre Reviews exists to help plug the gap in criticism and writing about theatre for young audiences. It is run entirely voluntarily, and needs support to continue covering and supporting the sector. For more information and to help give children’s theatre the voice it deserves, please visit our Patreon page.

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