Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

"The Perfect Way To Get Into The Christmas Spirit".

Hijinx Theatre , Weston Studio Wales Millenium Centre , November-30-17
 by  Hijinx Theatre Hurrah, Christmas is here. Not because we are now in December or the weather has recently taken a turn towards arctic conditions. No it means that the latest festive offering from Hijinx theatre is upon us. Today, we didn’t even have to wait for the auditorium to open before we were enchanted by a new community youth group, Telemachus. They created their own piece “Stay Down” which they performed in the foyer of the Millenium Centre to a riveted audience, who would either be heading to see Hijinx theatre or “Miss Saigon” in the main house.

Having explored any interesting exhibition downstairs featuring aspects of Neverland we were ready to be transported to the land of imagination upstairs. Immediately we are greeted by the narrator ( Gary Cook) who explains that Neverland is struggling. The modern world is moving so fast no-one has time to relax, have fun or believe in fairies.

This lack of belief is seriously affecting the light in Neverland and as it heads towards permanent darkness dramatic action was needed. He duly instructed fairies to travel to the mainland and kidnap three unsuspecting souls.
As the play unfolds we see how the unexpected surroundings affect our unwilling travellers and ultimately, will Neverland be saved?

As ever the joy of a Hijinx theatre production is the performers. They all beautifully inhabit their characters, regardless of how big (or small) their role is. With a big cast (26) I was particularly impressed by the elaborate staging. There are a lot of speedy scene changes and directors Jon Dafydd-Kidd and Serena Lewis ensure that the actors enter and exit with the minimum of fuss. Similarly, with a lot of characters it would be easy for the pace to drop and the momentum to sag but this is never allowed to happen.

It is also impressive that writer Llinos Mai has updated “Peter Pan” with the pertinent message that life is so serious nowadays and we need to re-engage with the child still inside of us. The whole cast is outstanding but credit must go to Nia Ramage, Blue Balmforth and Simon Richards in the 3 key roles.

I always enjoy the Hijinx Theatre shows but I must say I think “ The Second Star To The Right” is their best production yet. It has something for everyone, wonder for the kids with the re-creation of Neverland, the danger of the unexpected appearance of the crocodile, the poignancy of drying fairies and a genuinely laugh out loud script, my favourite dialogue being:
“What’s she like”
“Well, a well-dressed women about 30”.

Thank you again Hijinx theatre I am once again in the Christmas mood.

Reviewed by: David Cox

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