A heart warming festive treat for children aged under 6 and their families.
Last year’s Christmas Show, Alby the Penguin Saves Christmas, performed at Reading Rep was a sell out so I was really excited to be invited along today to see this year’s ‘A New Coat for Christmas‘ with my two year old. My older boys have already been to see a panto but there was no way fidgety toddler would sit through a traditional full length show, so an hours performance was a great introduction to the stage for him.
A New Coat for Christmas is designed especially for children under 6 but I was still a little nervous that my son would stay still for the entire show. There was absolutely no need to worry. The set up is perfect. Just the right size so that everyone can see and with cushions to sit on in two large carpeted areas. During the performance, one little girl curled up on her cushion, sucking her thumb completely transfixed.
Led by two animated actresses, they tell the story of a poor young girl called Anna who needs a new coat. With a little help from their friends and all of the audience, they set out on their adventure.
Right from the start of the performance, the audience engaged. The actresses move through the audience, capture your attention with their songs and the sheep puppets were a huge hit. My son thought they were real and really enjoyed being able to stroke one as he wandered up the central aisle. When we left at the end, he kept trying to escape back into the theatre to find them.
The characters met along the way from the sheep farmer to the wool spinner, weaver and tailor are all played by actress Josephine Timmins. She did a brilliant job of changing costume, making the kids laugh and changing her accent.
Sophie Bradley who plays Anna, has the best facial expressions and a lovely singing voice. All the kids were entranced including my little one.
If you’re looking for a Christmas Show for a little one this year, then you’d better be quick as tickets are selling out fast. A New Coat for Christmas is on until 30th December with 3 showings a day at 10am, 1pm and 4pm.
The show is performed at Reading Studio of Dramatic Art at Reading College and there’s lots of free parking on site.
A New Coat for Christmas written by Anna Glynn, based on the story by Harriet Ziefert
Director – Owen Jenkins
Kitty / Anna – Sophie Bradley
Margaret / Mummy – Josephine Timmins
Composer Robin Colyer
Designer Anna Lewis
Lighting designer Ashley Bale
Musical director Catriona Mackenzie
Stage manager Rosalind Dore
Production manager Steph Weller