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Flora’s Fairy Challenge review at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow – ‘perfect’

Stephanie McGregor in Flora's Fairy Challenge at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre. Photo: Alex Brady Stephanie McGregor in Flora's Fairy Challenge at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre. Photo: Alex Brady

If Christmas shows are about magic and involvement, then Andy McGregor’s joyous little tale for three to six-year-olds in the Citizens Theatre’s Circle Studio is perfect. The age group has yet to learn the rituals of pantomime, but with an intelligently constructed script and engaged performance from Stephanie McGregor as Flora, they don’t need to.

The audience enter to find Flora on a tiny, knee-high, snow-filled stage, making toys to go under the Christmas tree outside her tent. Her pre-show chatter and banter sets up a rapport which teeters between big sister and primary school teacher. And once they discover she is on a mission to take a selfie with Santa, she has them perfectly in tune with her storytelling.

It takes nerves of steel to ensure that the whole audience is kept up to speed. Ignoring the pushy ones when the story of Santa’s call for help to make a new batch of fairy dust needs expanding, but finding space to reward them with attention when more interaction is required.

Watching McGregor do so, on Neil Haynes cleverly expanding set, is a joy in itself. And when fairy dust finally flutters down for the whole audience to collect, the spell is complete.

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Perfectly pitched tale for younger audiences