Brighton Magazine

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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)


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