Kids listings

Edinburgh Storytelling continued

Tales Around the Tree Sat 21' Tue 24 Dec. 3.30pm. £5 (£3.50). Netherbow Arts Centre. 43 45 High Street. 556 957‘). Ages 6-plus. Take a break from last minute (‘hristmas shopping and find refuge in the Netherbow with (‘hristmassy folktales from around the world.

Sunday Stories Sun 22 Dec. 2 3pm. Free. National Portrait (iallery. 1 Queen Street. 624 62()(). For ages 5 and above. An afternoon of tales in the atmospheric Portrait (iallery where paintings are used as springboards itito the imagination. Jtidy Patterson brings seasonal and festive stories from arotmd the world.

Outside the Cities

Activities and Fun

New Lanark Christmas Experience t'ntil Sun 5 Jan.

I lam-5pm. £6.05. New l.anark Visitor Centre. New Lanark .Mills. New Lanark. ()1555 661345. Recapture the tnagic of ('hris‘tmas‘ at New Lanark's grotto. the Spirit of ('hristmas ride and panto fun for all the family.

Santa at Mill Farm Sat 14 & Sun l5 Dec. Sat 2l & Sun 22 Dec. Illam 5pm. £2.80 I .6()l. Almond \‘alley Heritage Trust. Millfteld. Livingston. 01506414957. Meet Santa in his farmyard cottage before travelling to the North Pole and joining in a special nativ ity scene.

Santa Cruises on the Union Canal Sat l4» Sttn l5 [)ec. Sat 2l~-Tue 24 Dec. l().3(lam-4.3()pm. £7.50. lidinburgh (‘anal Centre. The Bridge Inn 27 Baird Road. Ratho. 333 I320. Hour-long cruises to find Santa's enchanted castle on the l'nion (‘anal Watch ottt for his frietids on the bank atid Santa will come on board to give ottt gifts and sing carols lcoffee and mince pics for the adults).

Santa’s Grotto Sat l4 & Sun 15 Dec. Sat 2] & Sun 22 Dec. noon -3.3()pm. £3. Dean (‘astle (‘ountry Park. Dean Road. Kilmarnock. ()1563 522702. i‘un afternoon out with pony rides. competitions. pressies. Santa's ('artoon Show and of course a personal audience with Mr (’IaUs.

Theatre and Dance

A Christmas Carol Thu 12 Sat 14 Dec. Mon l6-Sat 21 Dec. Mon 23 & Tue 24 Dec. Thu 26Sat 28 Dec. Mon 3() &

108 THE LIST 12 DOC 2002—? Jan 2003

The Snowman Scottish

- 3;" I, Ballet's returning production

a” 3,, based on Raymond Briggs' story.

I Festival Theatre. Edinburgh and

.i . Theatre Royal, Glasgow. See listings for details.

Tue 31 Dec. Fri 3 Sat 4 Jan. times vary. £8 (£4 -£5l. MacRobert. l'niversity of Stirling. Stirling. 01786 466666. Wee Stories and MacRobert collaborate for a production of (’harles Dickens' classic tale of Scrooge. ghosts past. present and

future and the ('ratchit family. See review.

The Happy Prince Thu l2-Sat 14 Dec. Tue 24 Dec. Thu 26 Sun 2‘) Dec. times vary. £3. MacRobert. University of Stirling. Stirling. ()l 786 466666. Annie Wood directs Oscar Wilde's adapted story of the statue whose tears splish on a passing swallow and spark off a magical friendship. Music. drama and puppetry combine to tell this tender tale.

See review page 73.

The International Purves Puppets Biggar Puppet Theatre.

Broughton Road. (H899 220631. £5 (£4):

fatnin tickets £23 £36. Book in advance as times are subject to change. Reductions for parties of live or more. Shows on offer over the next two weeks


(Jane Ellis)

CHRISTMAS SHOW A CHRISTMAS CAROL MacRobert, Stirling, until Sat 4 Jan .0

Wee Stories has produced a very festive show full of snowflakes, carol singers and Christmas card imagery. But the performance starts off slowly and never gains the sprightly pace and wit that we expect of this much admired company. lain Johnstone is too loose limbed to be a truly gnarled up Scrooge and Andy Cannon doesn’t get enough to do as Marley’s Ghost.

There are some fine moments: Arron Usher fairly throws himself into the role of the Old Hag fencing stolen goods; the Ghost of Christmas Past’s bejewelled costume scatters magical flashes of light across the whole auditorium, and of course the death of Tiny Tim causes snuffles all round. But overall the company is weighed down by Dickensian dialogue, using far too many words and not giving us enough action. I saw it with a schools audience and no doubt mixed family groups will show greater appreciation of different elements in the

Pips and Panda at the North Pole Sat 14. Mon 16. \Ved l8. Mon 23 (S; Tue 24 Dec. times vary. Ages 3- 7. Pips and Panda find one of Santa's toy sacks and hear noises coming frotn inside. Meet their new friends in this ('hristmas puppet show.

Aladdin Sun 15 6‘; 22 Dec. Mon 23. Tue 24. Thu 26. Sat 28. Mon 3() 8: Tue 31 Dec. titnes vary. Ages 7-plus. Discover the adventures of a young boy has when he rttbs a lamp.

Pips and Panda Meet the Three Bears Fri 2() Dec. 10.30am & Fri 27 Dec. 2pm. Ages 3—7. Pips and Panda find themselves meeting with the three bears. Along the way. Panda finds himself flying throtigh the air while tangling with a kite.

Below are five other classic tales that have inspired readers, young and old, and deserve a seasonal unearthing . . .

For complete listings of all Christmas shows and pantomimes taking place in Glasgow and Edinburgh, see

Theatre listings, p72.

Designer Shona Reppe has created a Victorian Edinburgh High Street that looks good but causes lengthy set changes. She's better known as the puppeteer of Cinderella and Tom Thumb, and provides two engaging puppet characters for this piece, Topper the uncontrollable shaggy dog and a pensive, sickly Tiny Tim who is carried everywhere by doting Bob Cratchit.

Is this morality tale suitable for primary-aged kids at all? Because apart from silent Tiny Tim, there’s no one to identify with, there’s no adventure and I doubt that they really care if Scrooge saves his soul or not.

. \iJil Hi i m (Tu’i\ll’l.t\

’T was the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore ‘When all through the house/Not a creature was stirring/Not even a . . .‘ Need we say more?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss' scurrilous tale of an attempted Christmas coup. See Shelf Life paget 16.


The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis Narnia's magic lives on. The adventures of four children in the land beyond a wardrobe remains undimmed.

Father Christmas by Raymond Bfiggs

'Blooming Christmas here again.‘ The immortal first words of a typically grumpy Briggs creation.

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The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan and Janet Ahlberg Price Husband and wife team Ahlberg Price once again create a modern classic with their beautiful illustrations and story.