This short seasonal piece for children aged three and over takes place within one of the smaller studio rooms in Glasgow’s Southside arts venue Tramway and is produced by Citizens Theatre, which is currently under redevelopment.
The cast and production team consists of students and recent graduates of Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, led by director and creator Jack Nurse, who has recently created small-scale touring works under the banner of his Wonder Fools company.
Together with movement director and Wonder Fools collaborator Robbie Gordon, Nurse has devised a simple but effective piece for small children. The sextet of young performers play a trio of elves who hunt the streets of Glasgow for the sleigh they have inadvertently mislaid. Another trio of elf agents have been sent to hunt them down.
Their performances are bright and easily read, carrying the audience along as their elvish fantasia meets the reality of the city’s streets. The shift in tone is nicely worked, as the trio collide with brusque, drunken residents, and bring the famously traffic-cone-wearing statue of the Duke of Wellington to life with a burst of confetti magic dust.
Although the staging is a little awkward – with a pair of perpendicular catwalk spaces cutting through in-the-round seating – the cast fill the space while navigating any encroaching children. The DIY edge is apparent, but it makes the proficient result all the more pleasing.