Festive journey: image via Contact Theatre

Written and produced by Contact Young Company and Slung Low
Contact Manchester
19th-22nd December 2016

This short review was originally published as a comment here.

The Siege of Christmas is a complex machine of a production, the size of Contact itself, in which the vast majority of the cogs run smoothly. The audience’s radio headsets are an inspired idea executed well, allowing us to hear whispered dialogue perfectly even when travelling around in a large group. Musical cues are piped directly into our ears at just the right moments.

A number of episodic scenes, which take place all around the building, are tied together by the search for the spirit of Christmas. Sadly, the ending of the story, when we discover who stole Christmas and why, does not quite give as satisfactory a payoff as it should. The slight disappointment stands out more because, up until that moment, the pace and tension of the mysterious storyline are maintained so expertly by the music, set-dressing and performances.

Children are engaged by the quest and its interactive elements, while adults can enjoy the refreshing storytelling too.