The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company, Christmas Spectacular, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, December 16-21

IT doesn’t really feel like Christmas until the Juniors take the stage for their annual all-singing, all-dancing variety show.

Caught in traffic, luckily the North Pole Express was still waiting to whisk me off on the adventure of a lifetime.

The addition of a story - two youngsters plucked from the audience get golden tickets to meet Santa and restore their belief in the spirit of Christmas - is a nice touch.

It brings the 20-plus routines together and allows for the interaction audiences young and old love. Jack Brett has a lot resting on his shoulders as the Conductor; carrying the story and guiding you through the numbers.

Don’t worry though, the focus remains on the high-energy dancing and non-stop music of every style the spectacular is famous for and the story is simple enough for little ones to follow.


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Huge video panels above the two-level set show the steam train thundering from Siam to Scotland and London to America on its way to the icy wastes of the Artic, really giving you a sense of movement.

The special effects have really been upped and the screens come in handy during a dramatic clash with the evil Ice Queen and her Ice Warriors, out to stop us reaching the North Pole.

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Sweeping on to the stage in a giant swan, it’s one of the stand-out segments of the entire show.

With more performers, routines and costume changes than Father Christmas probably has elves it’s hard to single specific people out.

Stephanie Brown, Lucy Allen and Stephen Skrypec have marvellous voices and I was still smiling at Brown’s hilarious turns in You Would If You Could and How Could You Believe Them on the way home.

Slick singing, on point choreography and the spirit of Christmas all in one show. Get your golden ticket now.

WAYNE SAVAGE

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