Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Wicked Christmas 3" - December 2008

While all around, theatres invoke the festive spirit and preach goodwill to all with family friendly shows full of cheer, we knew we could rely on the Citizens Community Company's "Wicked Christmas 3" to deliver a sharper glance at our modern Christmas.

This year's show contains twelve short acts in a variety of styles and tones - from an amusing group song to hard hitting looks at exclusion and loss. There will always be hits and misses in such a show, but often that's more to do with personal taste than any lack in quality. And while neither of us were particularly taken by the 'Tree of Life' segment this was in part due to the decision to thread it throughout the evening rather than perform it as a single piece.

Anne Marie McLeod's "The Poor Philosopher" gave us a sombre look at the commercialisation of Christmas from someone on the outside and an image that will haunt my remaining Christmas shopping trips, while Kathleen Harrison's tale of family grief brought a lump to even a cynical throat. But for sheer entertainment Neil Bratchpiece's "The Wee Man v Santa" and "Munchkin Strike" are hard to beat. The Glasgow 'ned' is in danger of being overexposed these days, but when he's as well written and delivered as this it's always going to hit the target in home territory. But in the "Munchkin Strike" he gives us something that is little short of genius and provided one of the funniest five minutes I've had in a theatre this year - worth the ticket price alone. Other particular favourites of Waldorf were Patricia Preston's "Angela's Story" and Rena Hood's nostalgic "Christmas Adventure".

For those theatre addicts like us who don't really do the whole Panto thing this is a great way to stave off withdrawal symptoms with an entertaining and thoughtful evening.

Wicked Christmas 3 runs at the Citizens until Saturday 13th December
Image by Tim Morozzo used with permission