Moonminland Midwinter the egg, Bath
You rarely hear of the Moomins these days, at least that's what I thought before I went to the egg and found Moomin mugs and toys to buy – all part of Moominland Midwinter – the children's Christmas show that's running at the Bath theatre for five weeks.
Suitable for those aged six and over, the story (beautifully told by five excellent puppeteers), follows the adventures of Moomintroll (Seamus Carey) who wakes mid-hibernation and goes off exploring where he meets Too Ticky (Morag Cross), the Squirrel (Adam Fuller), Little My (Zoe Hunter) and the Hemulen (Mark Whitaker), to name but a few.
In this snowy and icy world, like all good children's stories, Moomintroll gets into a few sticky situations and learns a few good lessons, before spring comes and it's time to go home to Mama and Papa.
But never mind what I can tell you, my six-year-old nephew Sam is a much better judge. He was obviously taken with the simple, magical set, which he drew on some spare paper before the show started and then before the second half. Dimly lit, with the white "snow" sparkling away, the cast moved the set around between each scene – where mountains and ski slopes turned into little houses thanks to good use of lighting and lots of imagination.
Puppets are always a winner with children and there was no shortage, but it was the continuous story-telling (no songs) that kept my nephew engaged – lots of fidgeting but no asking when it was "going to end".
For me, it felt a bit slow paced and more humour would have been good (when Little My was hitting Moomintroll with a mattress at the beginning, Sam was in stitches) but, again, what do I know? A six-year-old is the best critic. As a "blizzard" started on the stage towards the end Sam commented: "Why isn't it snowing here too?" Good idea. Horse and Bamboo company – take note.
And the final verdict? Sam gave it "100 out of 10".
Runs until January 12. For tickets call 01225 448844