Bristol Theatre Reviews

Review: Yule Be Merry at St Werburghs City Farm

Perfect festive theatre for families to round off 2023

Yule Be Merry, is the perfect entertainment to round off 2023. It’s genuinely warm and entertaining and if you don’t have the festive feels yet, this joyous performance will herald them in.

Joyous, in this instance, doesn’t mean sugary or condescending. Brave Bold Drama’s show thankfully entertains families without being annoyingly condescending or twee. It’s a well crafted piece of comedy theatre, with plenty of space for audience interaction and several glorious set pieces.

Yule Be Merry, is one of those shows that starts during the audience incoming, making the space feel really welcoming and inclusive. Gill Simmons as Holly and Paul Lawless as Noel – also doubling up as health and safety and first aid – gently brings children into the fun from the off. Think along the lines of The Play That Goes Wrong, for youngsters aged around 3 – 8 years of age.

Holly and Noel are planners in charge of a 12 Days of Christmas themed event. Things are already going awry before it’s started. The pipers and dancers are still on the way, the turtle doves have broken free and the calling birds can’t phone in for their part when the tech goes up in smoke.

Nevertheless, the show must go on, which the pair pull off along with support from the young audience.

There’s a glorious Dance of the Cygnets for the Five Gold Rings. When the boss calls in to find out how it went, Holly throws in random French words contributed by the young audience. Everything from Bonjour to Pain au chocolat is included alongside correct terms such as pas de chat.

The final song is outstanding comedy. Intended to be performed by the missing cast now stuck in a Coke related incident on the motorway, neither Holly nor Noel know the tune or the words. They’re forced to make up it all on the spot. It’s quite hard for actors to convince an audience that they have no idea what’s actually going on in an intensively rehearsed scene. But, Simmons and Lawless execute this flawlessly, with humour pitched at both children and adults, bringing the lively show to an end.

Following the 40 minute performance is a calming 30 minute festive craft activity. This was perfectly pitched at a diverse range of ages with all children joining in. There is even the chance to be featured in your artwork through green screen.

Yule Be Merry is a big bundle of Christmas fun which perfectly wraps up festive activities for youngsters ahead of the Big Day.

It’s at St Werburghs City Farm until 24 December 2023

The performance does take place outside in a covered area, so dress for the weather.

To book: https://bravebolddrama.co.uk/theatre/yule-be-merry.html

For more information on Brave Bold Drama: https://bravebolddrama.co.uk

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