The Enormous Christmas Turnip

Dec 22 2021 | By More

★★★★☆   Enormously inventive

The Studio: Fri 17 – Fri 31 Dec 2021
Review by Thom Dibdin

Pun-packed and full of playfulness, The Enormous Christmas Turnip from Scottish Theatre Producers, hops into the Studio theatre with its young audience very much in mind.

Here is the story of Hutch and Stu, two rabbits with a carrot and plan for the very correctest of Christmas Dinners, in a show which uses those elements that appeal most to a pre-school audience – with a healthy dollop of contrived word play to keep parents laughing and groaning along.

Ivor MacAskill and Rosana Cade. Pic Mihaela Bodlovic

The Enormous Christmas Turnip is created and performed by Ivor MacAskill and Rosana Cade, as Hutch and Stu, whose best laid plans to have their traditional Christmas meal of a shared solitary carrot are completely disrupted by their realisation that Stu has invited the whole audience to join them…

Cue the opening up of the fourth wall and a veritable feast of possibilities – if Hutch can be persuaded to share, that is – as they get out the big book of Christmas dinners, with cauliflower, potatoes and brussels sprouts added to their diet of carrot.

Season Turner

Not to forget a tasty, juicy, crispy, roasted, enormous Christmas turnip…

But when they realise that that the packets in the book are not vegetables but seeds, it is time to bring out the magical Season Turner, to role back the year to Spring and get those seeds in the ground.

Ivor MacAskill and Rosana Cade. Pic Mihaela Bodlovic

The result, with sing-along fun, MacAskill getting out the ukulele (long-memoried fans of their Daily Ukulele Ceilidh are in for a wee treat), crows for the audience to help scare, an underground to explore and different vegetables to meet, has all the hallmarks of a bunch of creatives who have had a blast making the show.

Ailie Cohen’s design is bright and bold in all the right ways – with inventive puppet use and some particularly clever little touches when what appeared to be scenery actually comes into play – and the set is imaginatively lit by Andrew Gannon.

cracking along

There is a bit of an issue of finding the light at one point, but whether that is a question of blocking or lighting, it soon passes and for the most part director Fiona Manson keeps this cracking along at just the right pace.

As an inventive and engaging production for younger audiences this hits the mark spot on, with just the right mix of information, storytelling and visual effects.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, the final reveal is a proper turnip for the books: as the title says – and one excited audience member loudly announced – it is ENORMOUS!

Running time 50 minutes
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL.
Fri 17 – Fri 31 December 2021.
Two show daily.
Thurs 23, Mon 27 & Wed 29: 1.30pm & 3.30pm;

Fri 24, Tue 28, Thurs 30/Fri 31: 11.30am & 1.30pm.
Tickets and details: Book here.
NB: All performances of this show are seated with one metre social distancing and limited numbers. Audiences are asked to take a lateral flow test before the show to help keep everyone safe.

Ivor MacAskill. Pic Mihaela Bodlovic


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