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Hatti and Pippa’s Christmas Adventure

by on 14 December 2022

An Ice Jolly

Hatti and Pippa’s Christmas Adventure

by Ken Mason

Stephen Leslie Productions at Hampton Hill Theatre until 24th December

Review by Gill Martin

Forget the freeze, soaring energy bills, World Cup woes, industrial action on the railways, threats of a nursing strike and a dearth of Christmas cards thanks to a post workers’ walk-out.  What better way to banish the blues than a festive fix of cheer with a magical Christmas show?

I joined around a hundred excited youngsters from Hampton Hill Junior School at Hampton Hill Theatre for the opening day of Hatti and Pippa’s Christmas Adventure.  Their robin red uniforms matched pigtailed Hatti the Human’s scarlet coat as they jumped, sang, laughed and clapped throughout fifty minutes of fantasy and fun with Pippa the Penguin in her head waiter costume and yellow flapping flippers.

We meet a menagerie of creatures (Peter F. Gardiner) as Hatti (Joanne McGarva) helps zoo escapee Pippa (Charlotte Ellen) embark on a journey to her family at the South Pole.  For those of us who couldn’t even find a train to London this was a big ask.

A simple but effective set with imaginative lighting and backdrop of ever-changing forest glades, underwater scenes, sun-lit sparkling seas and snowscapes creates the mood for magic to happen.

A grumpy badger sends them on their way from his woodland set, heading ever south on their epic journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  By believing in magic Hatti discovers she can swim underwater, so meeting up with an emerald green turtle with an Irish accent is no surprise.  He bravely shields the adventurers with his shell as a Great White Shark circles menacingly overhead.  Cue music from Jaws.  He admits to a penchant for jellies i.e. jelly fish which, cue environmental alert, can be confused with plastic bag litter that endanger the denizens of the deep.

A Cockney octopus on the Equator treats us to a welter of corny jokes and sends the plucky pair on their way … the wrong way, to the North Pole, home to scary Ice Demons.

And we all know who else spends time there.  A jingling of sleigh bells heralds the arrival of the main man, whose hearty “Ho-Ho-Ho!” appearance in the auditorium startles a sequinned teacher.

Her charges applaud and wave Father Christmas as he comes up with a plan to save Pippa’s dream to join her family.  That’s the cheering message of Christmas.

Gill Martin, December 2022

Photography courtesy of SLP

One Comment
  1. celiabard permalink

    So looking forward to watching this production next week.

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