Theatre Review: How to be a Christmas Tree brings joy and happiness to all

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Image: Fish and Game

Macrobert Arts Centre invites you to visit the Tall and True Tree Nursery where young trees learn to grow.

How to be a Christmas Tree is a delightfully jolly 45 minute long interactive performance for children aged up to five years.

The show involves two actors – one male and one female. Dressed in green, they are both called Tree and welcome the young audience to their tree nursery where they live and become big and strong.

But one of the trees is not happy. She doesn’t like being a boring old pine tree and gets frustrated standing still all day looking at row after row of trees that are all the same.

She longs to be more than just a pine tree.

But her best friend Tree tells her that she won’t always be simply a tree and she won’t spend her whole life in the nursery. She has an exciting adventure ahead of her and it’s full of twinkles and colour.

Yes, she will grow tall and true and become a Christmas tree.

But there is a problem. She doesn’t actually know how to be a Christmas tree. But don’t worry – along with her best friend and the audience, she discovers everything she needs to know about being the perfect Christmas tree.

To begin with, we learn that she must stand utterly still, and no matter who comes past, she has to stand very quietly and hold her decorations up with pride. But when they are gone, she can sing and dance and play as much as she wants.

Then, even though she loves presents, she finds out that she can never ever open them. It’s her job to guard them from sneaky peekers and even if she is really excited or the paper is a tiny bit ripped, she cannot open the presents.

And last of all, she finds out about a very cunning villain. It has four legs and whiskers and says “meow.” Yes, it’s a cat. These naughty animals like to play with Christmas trees and pull off the bobbles, claw and shred the tinsel and knock the whole tree over. So Tree must muster up all her bravery to shout “shoo cat, shoo!” and keep safe.

But after Tree has learnt all she needs to know and is full of excitement and ready to embark on her new life, she realises that her friend is not so keen to join her. No, the other Tree is scared to leave the nursery and is frightened that he will never be bold enough to be a Christmas tree himself.

Yet, with the help of his pal and all the young trees, he overcomes his fears and decides he too wants to bring joy and happiness to all as a beautiful tree in winter.

At the very end, the two trees decorate each other in bobbles, tinsel, lights and stars and show that they really are now tall and true Christmas trees.

How to be a Christmas Tree is a wonderfully cheerful festive show for young children and adults alike.

It is perfectly balanced in every way. It isn’t too long for children to sit through or cope with and it isn’t so short that ticket payers are left feeling disappointed.

With plenty of heart-warming songs, educational nuggets, slapstick jokes and a strong, clear and not overly indulged narrative, this is the perfect Christmas experience for little ones and a great opportunity for adults to share in some festive magic with their children, siblings, or nephews and nieces.

The show runs until December 24, so if you are interested in booking tickets or finding out more, then go to http://macrobertartscentre.org/event/how-to-be-a-christmas-tree/

 

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