Charming life-size animal puppets, catchy tunes, an endearing pixie and a round plump pudding … this Christmas show has all the ingredients to enthral young audiences. The Pixie and the Pudding at the Little Angel Theatre takes as its inspiration Scandinavian folk tales about leaving food out for the little people, but anchors the tale at the heart of British rural life.
The show opens with a loveable old man going about a year on the farm, with the changing seasons marked by song and atmospheric lighting. Crucially, come Christmas, he leaves out a pudding for the Pixie (a captivating rod puppet with a punk hairstyle that the young audience delights in) which he senses but never sees. When the time comes for him to sell his farm to a dad and teenager from the big city, he writes them a note giving them the names of the animals and warning them to provide pudding for the pixie. Of course, they arrive with their city ways and shoo the dog out of the house and the Pixie is left wanting. In his anger he causes the farm to fall apart – although the malhandling of the animals also has something to do with it. It is not until the disgruntled teenager realises that she can connect with the animals – and in turn lift herself out of her sulk – that things start to improve.
The entire show is expertly executed by Gilbert Taylor and Nix Wood, who’s dual roles as puppeteers and performers require some pretty quick backstage sprints. The perfect pacing and dynamic songs means that even the youngest audience members remain attentive to the hand-clapping end.
Written by Barb Jungr and Samantha Lane
Directed by Samantha Lane
Music and lyrics by Barb Jungr
Set and costume designed by Mila Sanders
Puppets designed by Lyndie Wright
Lighting designed by Sherry Coenen
Stage managed by Adam Lovelock