Dec 16 2019 | By More

★★★★☆    Charming

The Studio: Wed 11 – Tue 24 Dec 2019
Review by Amy Taylor

The return of Tortoise in a Nutshell’s charming winter wonderland, Flutter, creates a world of possibilities where the creativity of children takes centre stage – all it takes is a little bit of snow and a lot of imagination.

Set the morning after a significant and sudden snowfall, two young sisters explore the new world on their doorstep with the help of their cheeky toy penguin, Philip. Using high energy movement and minimal dialogue, their back garden becomes the backdrop to a series of new adventures, from scaling snowy peaks to battling arctic landscapes.

Christie Mitchell and Philip. Pic: Richard Frew Photography

Co-produced with Freshly Squeezed Productions, and directed by Matt Addicott, Flutter is aimed at a children aimed two to six years old and has been a constant presence on the Scottish stage at Christmas since its premiere in late 2017.

A mix of puppetry, music, performance and multi-sensory design, the show gives children the chance to experience the many sights, sounds and delights of winter especially when the Scottish weather fails to deliver the Christmas wonderland that they may be expecting.


The magic in Flutter lies in its simplicity; there’s not much of a plot to speak of, but there doesn’t need to be a complicated storyline for it to work. This is a show about the potential of a child’s imagination and what can be created with the simplest of changes. It’s a piece that explores how different and new everything seems after snow. It looks at the new worlds that we can create with just a little bit of time and imagination, at what we can build when we work together.

A scene from Flutter (previous cast). Pic Richard Frew Photography

Thanks to the strength and agility of the two performers, Christie Mitchell and Hannah Venet, and the set designed by Arran Howie – combined with Jim Harbourne’s evocative soundscapes, the stage sparkles with imagination and creativity. Flutter is a high calibre example of Tortoise in a Nutshell’s highly visual work that both inspires and excites its young (and old) audience.

Get there in plenty of time to start the imagination off early, as you wind your way into the theatre past a series of cubbyhole nests, each home to an exquisitely created hibernating animal.

A completely immersive experience from beginning to end that enchants long after the show ends. It may not be a white Christmas this year, but Flutter delivers a glimpse of some much-needed winter wonder for all ages.

Running time 35 minutes (no interval)
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Wed 11 Dec to Tue 24 Dec 2019.
Daily, not Mons: 10:30 and 1:30.
Tickets and details: Book here.


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