From ice-skating to swimming, trekking through the rainforest, singing, dancing and digging underground – what more could you want from a festive performance?
Fun and laughter, of course, and there was a plenty in Northumberland Theatre Company’s (NTC) Christmas production, The Princess And The Goblin.
Written by NTC’s Karen Hirst, produced by Gillian Hambleton and directed by Louis Roberts – who also stars in the show – it is a children’s story of magic, excitement and a little bit of scariness, set to enthrall all ages.
It never fails to impress me how NTC shows have a cast of so few, yet are so fantastic.
From the simplistic, yet ever so effective set and backdrop, to the perfect background music and soundtrack and, of course, the top-quality acting, they really are some of the best actors and actresses in the country.
Starring just five actors – Colette Conlin as Princess Irene, Melanie Dagg as Lootie and the Great-Great-Grandmother, David McCarthy as Curdie and Goldwizzle, Louis Roberts as the Goblin Cat and Nigel Collins as Glump – The Princess And The Goblin is everything a Christmas show should be.
It is based on the story of the same name by George Macdonald.
It tells the story of a princess, fed up and lonely, with only her housemaid Lootie for company.
She is unaware that below her castle lie mines filled with goblins. And after an encounter with her mystical Great, Great-Grandmother she leaves her home (along with the housemaid) and is almost captured by the goblins. But miner Curdie comes to her rescue and while he is captured, she helps him escape and they go on a funny and enchanting journey.
While the show has some dark and, at times, scary scenes, it is full of fun and laughter.
The comedy duo of Louise Roberts as the Goblin Cat and Nigel Collins as Glump is just phenomenal; they are a bit like an unwashed version of the Chuckle Brothers.
Their gags are plenty and their unrhyming version of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (or in their version, belt) is just superb.
They are just a brilliant duo, who engage with the audience and truly and thoroughly entertain.
This is the first show with NTC for Colette, but you would never know it. She is just brilliant as Princess Irene, giving off the persona of a stubborn, stroppy teenager, who stomps around and wants her own way. And her singing voice – wow. When she duets with Melanie in her role as the Great, Great-Grandmother it is just beautiful.
While we are on the subject of Melanie, what a great job she does too.
Playing Lootie she is fun and charming, yet she transforms into this more serious and mystical character as the Great, Great-Grandmother. It’s also her first time on tour with NTC.
Last, but by no means least, is David McCarthy, who transforms from the lovable and kind Curdie to the evil Goldwizzle with ease.
Another wonderful Christmas performance from a brilliant theatre company.
The Princess and the Goblin is on tour from Saturday. It will be at Alnwick Playhouse Studio on Wednesday, at 6.30pm, and Alnmouth Village Hall on Thursday, at 4pm. See www.northumberlandtheatre.co.uk for more details.