There’s one key thing in the relatively short history of Tobacco Factory Theatres (TFTS), which has secured its consistent growth and success – artistically and structurally it hasn’t stood still. It hasn’t stagnated. It’s kept moving forward, kept growing and ultimately, the annual Christmas show is the pinnacle of every season.
This year’s production of The Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor, won’t have the longevity of stunning success Cinderella: A Fairytale. But, this is a cracking show nonetheless.
The audience, cast and creatives are peppered with TFTS’ Christmas show alumni. Previous cast member in Christmas shows and funniest man in the world ever Felix Hayes, watches on from the theatre’s new comfy seating. Craig Edwards also takes a seat keeping a watchful eye on proceedings having moved from acting to show’s director.
We have the stellar Lucy Tuck in the cast, the fabulously engaging Saikat Ahamed, who again manages to cross dress to brilliant comedy effect.
Zara Ramm is a great actress, providing touching moments as Sinbad’s brief love interest from a balloon. She’s barely recognisable from the middle class foolishness of Grandpa in my Pocket in this ensemble piece.
One of the biggest successes of these Christmas productions, is that we are seeing great theatre up close. There’s no stars, no egos, no slebs. They are neither wanted nor needed.
Vic Llewellyn mostly plays Sinbad, the unfortunate sailor who has a Midas death touch at sea. He also plays a fantastically mean ogre, utilising props and stilts in the way Travelling Light excels at.
This story, filled with adventure, comedy, sadness and finally happiness is a rollercoaster ride, at times leaving the audience on the edge of their seat.
If you are good at spotting twists in a plot, the ending won’t come as a massive surprise. But this doesn’t mar the thrills the show provides.
For the involvement of Travelling Light, prop use is surprisingly sparse, stripping theatre back to its barest bones. This pushes the entire focus of the audience even further onto the great talent of the actors.
The Last Voyage of Sinbad is an engaging treat, giving us theatrical storytelling at its very best. In terms of Christmas theatre in Bristol this year, it’s the star at the top of the tree.
It’s a show suitable for people of all ages and children aged six years upwards.
27 November 2013 – 12 January 2013
Tickets from £8