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The Night That Autumn Turned to Winter review at Battersea Arts Centre – ‘superb seasonal fun’

Dominic Conway in The Night That Autumn Turned to Winter at Battersea Arts Centre, London

Over the last eight years, Little Bulb Theatre has excelled at making genuinely surprising, innovative and delightfully quirky theatre for all ages. It’s a testament to the company’s talent that they do not resort to a single cliche in order to make a completely relevant seasonal show for three-to-seven year olds and their families, whatever their creed happens to be. In subtly clever ways they completely re-invent the notion of a ‘fairytale’ here too.

As the title suggests, the drama is contained in an anticipation of the winter solstice, from the point of view of an ensemble of woodland creatures. In the usual Little Bulb style, the three pixie narrators beguile us with singing, dancing and humorous storytelling, all accompanied with live music, which they play with infectious gusto, and some home-made props. (You’ll never look at a kitchen sieve in quite the same way ever again).

Many shows for this age group risk losing the audience’s attention at one point or another. Not so Little Bulb’s perfectly crafted winter concerto. Each number effortlessly outdoes the previous one in overall effect, building to a captivating finale. The only foibles about this show might be the levels of lighting in a midwinter forest, but otherwise, it is a must for anyone who cares about fairytales. And knitwear.

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Verdict
Superb seasonal fun for three-to-seven year olds by the ever-inventive Little Bulb
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