Unicorn Christmas Party

Dec 11 2023 | By More

★★★★☆     Boogie time!

The Studio: Fri 8 – Sun 24 Dec 2023
Review by Thom Dibdin

It’s a big, glittering, retro disco at the Studio Theatre, where unicorns Luna and Melody call on their young (and not-so-young) audience to help save Christmas in Unicorn Christmas Party, until Christmas Eve.

Santa has lost his magic sparkle, you see. He can’t remember why he is doing all this any more. And without his sparkle he won’t fly either. As his long term friends – they remember the time they put on false noses to lead the sledge the year Rudolph caught a cold – Luna and Melody feel duty-bound to help him.

Unicorns Melody and Luna – Sarah Rose Graber and Ruxy Cantir – in Unicorn Christmas Party. Pic: Raw Material.

After much wailing and throwing of petulant hooves in the air from Melody, Luna has the bright idea of holding a party. Which, provided it is big, bouncing, glittering and vibrant enough, will create the needed magic sparkles to go all the way to the North Pole and set Santa right.

The more fun is had at the party, the more sparkle will be created. And in order to have fun, the unicorns have to teach their audience the moves to a whole bunch of cheesy Christmas numbers, of the kind you might listen to while decorating the tree.

It’s a simple idea, which needs big glittery presentation to really work. Fortunately, producers Raw Material know exactly what they are doing and Kenny Miller’s set is just that, with oversize baubles and candy cane, and tinsel round the playing area. Miller’s costumes for actors and creators Sarah Rose Graber and Ruxy Cantir are lovingly designed layers of shimmering pinks, psychedelic stripes and metallic silver.

sparkling jewels

Graber and Cantir are engaging hosts, keeping the pace just right for the wee ones as they alternate between get-up-and-dance numbers and anecdotes about Santa. They speed it up and slow it down; and when everything is just right – everyone gets their own sparkling jewels to put on.

Unicorns Luna and Melody – Ruxy Cantir and Sarah Rose Graber – in Unicorn Christmas Party. Pic: Raw Material.

Any parents with children who are about three to six years old who like to dance along to the TV, should definitely take them along for a real treat. Not that it will be just the children dancing. This is an urgent appeal for sparkle from Santa, you see, and it is everyone’s duty to get up and get down.

To be honest, anyone who has a fondness in their hearts for lost retro-cheese clubs, such as Trendy Wendy’s Tackno, or even Going Places, should relish the excuse to get the old sparkles out and treat a young person of their acquaintance to a jolly good boogie – while having a grand old time of it themselves.

It’s not just the boogie, either. This is all prepared with a loving attention to detail, from Simon Gane’s lighting which helps build the sparkle of the set, to Chris JS Wilson’s choreography and Tyler Collins’ Santa voice-over.

The story, created by Graver and Cantir with Pete Lannon and Kim Donohoe, has the beautiful simplicity of a Haiku. And you’ll need to get there a good ten or fifteen minutes early, to get in the unicorn mood at the colouring-in tables, or taking your photo in the unicorn cut-out.

A big, simple idea for young audiences, boldly presented in a production that is well thought-through and lovingly crafted.

Running time: One hour (including pre-show colouring-in session).
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Fri 8 – Sun 24 Dec 2023
Wed – Sun: 10.30am & 1.30pm.
NB: Colouring session is before curtain up.
Tickets and details: Book here.


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