22nd December 2022
This is quite simply beautiful. A fable in panto season that touches the best bits of the season without a cliche in sight, if touched at all then done so in a spirit of aliveness. It was written by Alphabetti’s artist director Ali Pritchard together with pupils of Hotspur Primary School, wow, what a conjunction of talents and energies, heart felt and FUN throughout.
We begin with someone reporting a strange singing from a telephone junction box, so out troops Bob from the telephone company to sort it out near Christmas. She has a go and gets sucked into the Goblin world. A wonderful world, dominated by the letter B (Blockie! Blockie!) and a tale of woe – how the Goblins have been traduced by the tales of fairies, yes in Fairy Tales, over the years — they are not the green nasties we might assume. They need help and Bob’s yer person together with Goblin Bond (who on trips to the other side has fallen for 007)T hey are both played with great heartfelt gusto and fun by Alexandra Tahnee and Emily Ash.
Yes it all makes sense, but that can be by the bye as really its all such fun. The Goblin’s love to sing and the music is enchanting and amusing and the dancing is fab-u-lous darlings. I’m not a panto goer but was thoroughly heart warmed by this production. The invention of the staging is lovely in this fringe theatre (nominated for Fringe Theatre of the Year by The Stage). The Goblin King (Wilf Stone who also wrote the music) sits observing singing, playing the music and chipping in whilst Bob and Bond sort things out — and how things need sorting, from handshakes to their quest. The Goblin world is also represented by a wall of blue tinsel and Goblin masks which I bet the children at Hotspur have done. They are beautiful and it works so well, so evocative, as were the crisp packets. It has the energy and fun and link-making of play as they play out the play – and the spirit of childhood. It is on at 6pm to help with bed times and evening schedules and has an interval after about half an hour for the necessary breaks we might all need, ice cream of course being one option. Then it is on with the quest in their inventive not knowing what to do way whilst remembering the most important things about how we can best make a difference in this world and getting real about fairy-folk and human-folk. A delight. It has the energy of the playground, and maybe of a few lessons too. Thank you children at Hostpur school and all involved. Seriously fun.
If you’re not a pupil at Hotspur then don’t let that put you off – get beyond division and into the land of fun and get along. It is fab-u-lous and in some ways feels a classic. Its heart is always in the right place. Adults you may love it too – it may remind you of play, there are also nods to the older audience, a lovely experience. People of Newcastle (and surrounding areas) you’d be daft to miss it, perfect for many a primary school little one I think.
You may wish to note they warn about some loud drumming (and offer earplugs) and some flashing lights.
Song of the Goblins
Dates Tuesday 13th December – Saturday 31st December 2022 (Excluding Sundays)
Time 6:00pm, 1:00pm Saturday matinees on 17th, 23rd, 31st December.
No performances on 18th, 19th, 25th and 27th December.
Tickets Pay What You Feel (13th – 31st December)
£3-£15 (20th December – 31st December)
Booking – Booking essential.
Tickets range from Pay What You Feel to £15 and are available from https://www.alphabettitheatre.co.uk/song-of-the-goblins
Running Time 75 minutes (approximately, including a 15 minute interval)
Age Restrictions 3+
Captioned performance Wednesday 14th December
Audio Described performance Wednesday 21st December
All performance will be relaxed performances.
Script Writing Ali Pritchard & the pupils of Hotspur Primary School
Director Ali Pritchard (he/him)
Live Music & Composition Wilf Stone (he/him)
Set & Costume Design Anna Robinson (she/her)
Lead Facilitation Elijah Young (he/him)
Assistant Director Kieran Barker (he/him)
Performed Alexandra Tahnée (she/her) & Emily Ash (she/her)
Produced Alphabetti Theatre
Eilis McGowan (she/her)
Esther Fearn (she/her)
Ali Pritchard (he/him) supported by Clare Overton (she/her)
Stage Manager Chris Foley (he/him)