Santa's Elves Improve The Lot Of Humble Shoemaker.

Sam Bradshaw Presents

Santa’s Elves and the Shoemaker

Walker Theatre

19th to 24th December

(See Brochure For Matinees)


Just when one thought Mother Goose was the ultimate Christmas show one stumbles into another festive offering on at Theatre Severn and that is, Santa’s Elves and The Shoemaker.

Believing one may be assaulted by screaming children and a show that creaks under the weight of all the corn it is carrying. It is with trepidation that I took my seat in the Walker Theatre to lose myself for an hour or so into the purely magical world of, Mr. Klop, Bip and Bop the extremely entertaining elves, and good old Santa himself.

Poor old Mr. Klop a lovable but hapless character. He is the shoemaker behind in his rent and not being able to afford leather to make shoes to sell and get himself out of the trap. A pure Catch-22 for the poor fellow. He is such a lovable soul and so imaginatively played. One hopes that even as the Landlady is chasing him for rent, that there must be an answer. One can’t help but feel for the poor old soul. Beautiful character portrayal. Very good no silliness, no aiming for cheap laughs or double-entendre, one is charmed by this poor old man down on his luck.

Then come Bip and Bop; with a synchronicity of movement worthy of Fred and Ginger the lovable elves Bip and Bop come along at night and save the day. They think they are shoemaking in Santa’s Grotto not Mr. Klop’s Shop. Every night they make him more shoes in the day he sells them and slowly grows solvent and prosperous. It is all wound up by a visit from The Big Man Santa himself and every child gets a present.

This is a slick show. The movement of Bip and Bop was wonderful like smoke almost they magically wove around each other and with their playful spirits they won everybody’s hearts. They are utterly magical and lovable! Even Santa who was short of two elf shoemakers in his real grotto, employs the two lovable elves they have a happy ending too.

This is so much more than a Christmas show. The format used is repetition of movement and language. Children love that and find the simple narrative very easy to follow. Importantly, and here is the clever part, no one in the audience felt patronised. It is difficult to do a Kid’s show without there being an air of patronisation around and kids and parent’s experiences of the same show become totally different. No such stuff as that here. Everybody was a valued member of the audience and shared this experience collectively.

There are no smutty references that only parents will laugh at, it doesn’t make jokes at the expense of the children. Also it doesn’t shy away from the brief of making a good children’s show that Adults will enjoy too.

This was just another wonderful addition to anyone’s Christmas. It is a children’s show so best if you go with children. If you do are in for a treat. See the theatre working and see the children in a state of suspended disbelief, Parents too, see the beautiful directing of this piece, enjoy the witty script and take away with you a little more of this wonderful festive spirit which descends upon us all at some point.

I have no difficulty in recommending this show. It is a sophisticated piece of theatre beautifully written by Ian Billings with Richard Lamming writing the music and songs.  It is sophisticated because it has found a way of entertaining both Parent and Child and to incorporate those two target audiences into one show and then to leave them all happy is a stroke of genius. Go and see you will not regret it.

 Happy Christmas I will be back in January into a whole new year of Theatrical treats. Get a brochure now. Merry Christmas.

This is a Five Star Review.

Owen J Lewis










Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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