Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Julian, Julian, Julian.....

said a disappointed Chief thief to one of the other thirty nine thieves on Saturday evening when Himself, Chic Girl, the Whizz Kid and the Whizz Kids Mama and I, all went to the Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol. We went to see Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
Now the Tobacco Factory is a very small theatre so I was intrigued as to how they were going to get all these people on the small stage. I needn't have worried. The whole play consisted of three men and two women who were the entire cast. The rest of the 'thieves' were Action Men and Barbie dolls strapped in grenade holders around the three or four actors who played the rest of the robber band. I know it sounds weird but although they had very few props, the few that they had were used so imaginatively it completly worked. It was everything a good show should be. Another most entertaining Christmas show for children and adults alike. During the interval we noticed the bar seating area was decorated with metres of sparkly lace fabric draped across the ceiling with some beautiful middle eastern lanterns hanging here and there, forty individually decorated faces were festooned across the walls, so clearly there had been a childrens workshop at some stage and their splendid efforts were displayed for us all to see.

We have been to see a few productions at this theatre and we've really enjoyed every single one. The Tobacco Factory has an intimate friendly atmosphere, where you don't book any seats as such, you just buy your tickets and then choose where to sit when you get there. It's a nice relaxed way of doing things. The stage is a square in the middle of the room with tiered seats on all four sides, so everyone can hear everything and get a really good view of the action. Sometimes that action can get very close as we found when we sat on the front row for a production of Hamlet last April, Whizz Kid and I had a huge sword thrust inches away from us during a fight scene - very exciting stuff.

If you live anywhere near travelling distance to Bristol, you might like to consider going to one of their shows (they do two Shakespeare productions each year). I'm looking forward to the next show already.

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