Review: Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas, Lyric Hammersmith
4.0Overall Score

It is a year unlike any other and so it should not come to anyone’s surprise that Christmas is not like any other either. With the theatres in London once again shut, the Lyric Hammersmith have taken on the task of bringing the annual Christmas play to the children — digitally. Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas is returning to the Lyric Hammersmith stage with a twist. The show is pre-recorded and can be watched digitally on an electronic device of our choice.

The Lyric’s adaption of Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas sparkles of Christmas joy and festivity. It is the 24 December and Father Christmas (Marcus Hendry) awakes from a sweet dream to prepare for the big day. The reindeers need to be fed, the sleigh needs to be prepared and the presents need to be distributed. We join him as he puts on his red suit and steps out into snowy London to bring presents to children all around the world — only accompanied by his little radio and his flying reindeer.

Pins and Needles Production have adapted Raymond Briggs’ original story for the stage and in collaboration with the Lyric Hammersmith are bringing it to our living room. The show delivers a wonderful blend between performers and puppeteers and allows us to enjoy the spirit of Christmas with the little ones even during these unusual times.

On an astonishing and versatile set designed by Zoe Squire, that sometimes serves as Father Christmas’ cosy home and at other times encompasses the whole world, Hendry manoeuvres through the trials and tribulations of Christmas. His furry friends Cat and Dog, and his reindeers, who are brought to life by Toby Manley and Peyvand Sadeghian, support him. The play chimes of festivity and Christmas buzz, if not thanks to Stacey Ghent who is filling our homes with magical Christmas melodies and hilarious sound effects that will brighten every child’s face.

Emma Earle directs Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, a witty and heartfelt Christmas play by the Lyric Hammersmith to be enjoyed by children of all ages. The clever recording allows us to dive into the magic of Pins and Needles Production’s Christmas world which includes a flying sleigh and adorable puppet animals.

The tickets for Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas include a link to the recorded show which can be enjoyed with the whole family at any point until 24 December from the cosiest spot in your home.

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas is playing online at the Lyric Hammersmith until 24 December. For more information and tickets visit the Lyric Hammersmith website.