A CHRISTMAS STORY
A review by Ellie Farrow
A Christmas Story is a delightful US holiday classic, set in the 1940’s. In the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the story follows Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way towards his dream Christmas gift – an official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 Shot Range Model Air Rifle. However, in his quest to get the coveted BB gun, he is rebuffed at every turn.
In the intimate Waterloo East Theatre, the show is light-hearted, funny and full of energy. We watch the children tackle bullies and trivial classroom disasters in what is a lovely children’s show – the kids holding their own brilliantly alongside the adults. The music is sweet and simple, sung very well and performed brilliantly by the fantastic orchestra.
My favourite song was the upbeat number ‘You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out’ sung by Jenny Gayner as Miss Shields. I loved how it was performed with a fantastic, high-energy tap dance, that really stood out amongst the other songs as there wasn’t much dancing otherwise. This is one thing I would’ve changed. I think the director should’ve to give the children some move movements during some of their songs. There were some numbers where they were stood completely still.
One other point about the tap dance was the costume change. Miss Shields came out half way through the number in a new ‘burlesque’ style get-up that I feel sexualised the song a little, especially as the two young girls were also given feather boas. I don’t think this was necessary, the number was full of pizzazz and didn’t need the ‘sexy’ costume.
Oliver Harmen’s set design and Becky Livermore’s costumes did brilliantly at evoking the sense of the mid-western 1940’s home. Overall, the show was beautifully presented, was moments of tenderness cut through with merry humour, making it a great, family friendly Christmas show.