Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 13 December 2010

Young Hearts Were Thawed By The Excellent Robin And The Big Freeze

Robin and the Big Freeze (Unpacked Theatre, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton), is quite simply the best produced, directed and written children's Christmas (small) theatre production that I have seen in the four years that I have been taking my kids to local theatres.
The Unpacked Theatre Players

In fact the stage action was less directed and more choreographed, such was the pace of the action and humour on stage.

Whatever the genre, great stagecraft will out and this is far, far better than even Jumping Mouse, the Unpacked Theatre's most recent production in the city.

While the latter was enjoyable, Robin is simply excellent and proof that our great city can set the gold standard in so many theatrical and artistic forms.

The tale of a grumpy, selfish Robin and his negative reaction to incomers to his remote country garden during winter, could easily have fallen into the trap of being a preachy comment on immigration issues and suchlike, but it never fell into that trap.

Sub-plots such as the postman-granddad and his grand-daughter, who fight not over territory but about modern life and ideas – she wants a mobile phone to text with while he is stuck in the age of pen and paper - were used to balance against the Robin territorial obsessions.

In the end, the grand-daughter (locked-out in the freezing snow) is saved by the birds who get together to help her use writing to produce a large sheet with B>HELP written on it that her granddad can see as it traverses the valleys, a kind of physical text message if you like.

Neat eh?

Live piano, singing, puppets, really great jokes for all the family, paper snowballs for the audience and a great deal of hard work all served to make this a real Brighton classic.

The Swedish ABBA birds were just hilarious.

But I will let my children have the last word.

Joe (5yrs) said: "It was very funny and I liked the Robin", while Tom (2 ½ yrs) said: "I liked the lady and the house."

Both were totally absorbed for the entire hour and fifteen minutes, and that is really saying something, especially for an ants-in-his-pants two year-old like mine.

If this show is ever on again I will most certainly go and see it, and I look forward to the Unpacked Theatre Company's next work with great interest.

For info on future Unpacked Theatre shows visit

by: Howard Young (Arts Editor)


Following this week's blanket media coverage of Born Free Co-Founder, Virginia McKenna OBE's, appeal to the Antiques Roadshow to cease featuring ivory items and the BBC's decision to review its ivory policy, the Horsham-based international wildlife conservation charity, has launched an Ivory Amnesty aimed at people who no longer wish to have any ivory items in their possession.
Pic by Wolf James

Described as “the love child of INXS, The Maccabees and The National”, five-piece To Kill A King return with their first record since 2015 - a collection of semi-mythic, semi-autobiographical tunes.
See Foot Of Article For Photo Credits

Gary Cook, director of the Southwick Players upcoming production of The Turn of the Screw, talks to his producer Anita Jones about the play.
40 Shillings On The Drum Credit Andy Sturmey

Brighton's raucous punk-folk five-piece 40 Shillings on the Drum have joined sextet Skinny Lister, emerging rapper Chiedu Oraka, singer-songwriter Sean McGowan, Brighton punk pop outfit Jetstream Pony, and Hastings' indie rockers Kid Kapichi on the bill of Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival 2018, the UK's largest Mardi Gras celebration.
The Damned (c) John Ingham 1977

Over forty years since their initial explosion across the fledgling London punk scene, and some ten years since the release of their last studio recordings, British punk legends The Damned are set to return in 2018 with both new material and - as part of a UK tour - a date on the South Coast.

Black Deer Festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Eridge Park, Britain's oldest deer park, located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells, and you can expect an array of authentic americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases, storytellings from cultural pioneers, not to mention a line-up of artists across the Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres.  
Paola St George

A brand-new radio show about mental health is being launched by Brighton community radio station RadioReverb as part of their new 2018 schedule. 

There will be no unwelcome re-entry as the promised meteoric rise of Brighton five-piece, 40 Shillings on the Drum, shows no sign of abating. In fact, 2018 is gearing up to be the year of the 'Shillings', as the next twelve months will see them unleash a live album, début studio album and a plethora of live dates.

A 23-year-old man will be donning his running shoes to tackle a 100km run, in a bid to raise more than £425 for Alzheimer's Society. Max Cross will be taking on the South Coast Challenge from Eastbourne to Hove, over two days, on 25 and 26 August 2018.

Lights of Roman numerals illuminate the ice, the Brighton Centre house lights go down, a circular platform glides to centre stage, and a man sat in an armchair watches a video on his projector while a woman dances around him to a romantic tune.

Brighton Festival & The Voice Project are inviting singers (aged over 16) to join a unique new choral project, The Arms of Sleep, as part of Brighton Festival 2018.
Pic by Sam Shaw

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018 focuses on the work of Mozart - each biennial edition of the competition will focus on a different composer or era. 

With tickets for his Brighton Centre show sold out in minutes and a number one solo album packed with top quality tunes, Liam Gallagher is at the toppermost of the poppermost.

On the back of last weekend's gig at Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, in Brighton, Jordan Allen are releasing new single and firm live favourite, R.O.S.I.E.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd