This is a most unusual, charming, intimate and magical show, supposedly for young people between the ages of 4 and 7, but at the performance I attended there was a child of 2 who was clearly enjoying it as much as everyone else. It is a promenade performance – each scene taking place in a different area of the historic theatre – and all the better because audience numbers are limited to 25.
The plot, which the children seemed to be much better at following than the grown-ups! follows intrepid investigator Nellie Limelight, enthusiastically played in a strong French accent by Florence Leon, who receives an anonymous call for help. As Nellie tries to discover who needs the help (it is in fact an oyster) we follow her around the theatre, where we uncover a story of stolen jewels, a broken time machine, beautifully designed by Abigail Horn as well as meet several other flamboyant characters, all of which are portrayed by Karl Williams in a series of unusual voices and quick costume changes including a pantomime dame. Eventually Nellie restores the oyster with the huge pearl to its rightful place, helped, if that is the right word, by a friendly pterodactyl called, of course, Terry! These puppets, designed and made by Andy Heath, are very imaginative and really help bring this 50 minute show(just the right length!) to life.
The adults present at the performance I attended obviously enjoyed it as much as their children – much of their enjoyment coming from watching the reactions of the young people, all of whom were superbly behaved and totally entranced. One of them told me afterwards that I had ‘better give it a good review’ so I will! BUT as audience numbers are very limited I do urge you to book quickly!
This is an enchanting, if unusual, Christmas entertainment which manages to deal with topics such as bullying and being nice to others, in a magical way.
By the way, there are accessible, relaxed performances on 3 January for those who might find the Theatre Royals stairs challenging.
Review by John Groves
There’s something fishy going on
When theatre detective Nellie Limelight receives an anonymous call for help she sets out to investigate. Who is Dame Battie Baubles? What has Bert built in his workshop? Why is there seaweed in the grandfather clock?
Follow intrepid investigator Nellie Limelight around Theatre Royal Brighton as she uncovers a story of stolen jewels, pantomime villains, a broken time machine and a misplaced sea creature; she needs your help to solve this most peculiar case!
A charmingly funny Christmas adventure for 4 – 7-year-olds
Nellie Limelight and the Oysters of Time
Theatre Royal Brighton
From Thursday 19th December to Sunday 5th January 2020.
Book Tickets for Theatre Royal Brighton