A young family of adventurers living by the sea

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Christmasaurus Live

This year, me and Max have been consciously trying to go to the theatre more. My love of musicals has rubbed off on him and if we don't have a soundtrack on in the car, it's normally because Scott is fed up of hearing us sing them! Last year I booked tickets to see The Christmasaurus Live on stage, an adaptation of the book by Tom Fletcher. In all honesty I bought the tickets as I loved the book and was intrigued to see what it was going to be like on stage. 


I have to put my hands up and say I did contemplate selling the tickets. At 7pm, it was a late show just before Christmas in London and I dreaded taking Max up on my own. I shouldn't have worried as Max has a knack for blowing me away with behaviour as he gets older. Not only that, but being a HUGE McFly fan he was desperate to see Tom on stage again. 

Walking up to the theatre we were blown away by the giant Christmasaurus just outside the doors, if this was what we had in store for us inside, it was sure to be a magical night. We were sat up in the circle (it was a mix of low income and thinking higher up would be easier for Max than stalls) and had a fantastic view of the stage. With Christmas music playing, we couldn't wait for the show to begin. 

In the programme, Tom writes "This is not a musical. This is not a concert. This is not a panto, or a play, or anything I can compare it to". And he was definitely right. The opening scene is one many McFly fans have seen before, a "live" video link where things are going wrong. In this case, the cast haven't turned up and it's down to Tom, his wife Gi, his sister Carrie and his band mates Harry and Matt to save the show. 

Starting off as a stripped back show, all is not lost when Father Christmas turns up to save the day and brings with him an ensemble of performers, a stunning set and a band that definitely got you dancing in your seats. I have to say that all these elements were fantastic, it really added that touch of sparkle to the show and left Max with his mouth wide open in awe of what was happening on stage. 


I have to admit that despite reading the book (albeit in July 2016 when I was given an adavanced copy!), I hadn't listened to any of the songs. Mainly due to the fact that they are unavailable online to listen to and can only be found with a copy of the new hardback (which I begrudge paying for as I already have a copy!). So I was going into the show with fresh eyes. I was so happy to hear a mix of classic style show tunes, mixed with big songs and ones that could be similar to that of a McFly concert.

Tom and his friends and family did an amazing job as the characters. Between playing a caricature version of themselves and playing the book's roles, I was blowing away by their singing, acting and Harry's amazing dancing! The supporting cast did an amazing job, and as always were the glue that holds a show together. But the stand out roles had to go to Dan McLellan who played William Trundle and the Christmasaurus itself. I have to take my hat off to the casting team who chose Dan and his singing was perfect for his on stage debut. This Christmasaurus itself was helped by some wonderful puppeteers who left everyone believing he was the real deal.

One thing I was most impressed about was the accessibility at the show. Not only was the place big enough for wheelchairs, Dan himself was a wheelchair user and there was also an interpreter on side of stage signing the show for those hard of hearing. It's little things like that which make you wonder why more shows aren't becoming more accessible.

Whilst I don't want to spoil the story of the book (though most will have read it!), I thought the show was seamless and captivated everyone from baby to grandparent. It left me and Max in the perfect Christmas mood just days before the main event and it's left us singing the songs constantly in our heads! I'm not too sure how they would be able to adapt it without the star studded cast, but It's definitely one we would love to see again!

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