Theatre Review: Kid Carpet's Snow Globe @ The Lantern
by Polly Hember
The Lantern, usually buzzing excitedly for a gig to start, embedded with memories of sipping pints in anticipation for a musician to walk on stage, was completely transformed. A festive and fun stage that was made to look like a little igloo, was surrounded by small, chattering children, grinning at the Christmas tree on set and struggling to sit still. As part of Bristol Old Vic’s Studio Walkabout Series, Snow Globe by Kid Carpet is a nonsensical and fun tale that children will adore.
Carpet, dressed in a suit jacket, red t-shirt, a glittery gold tie and trainers, rocked up to profess that he’d rented Gary Barlow’s Snow Globe. This borrowed globe was decked out with an Intelligent Fridge that spoke with sharp sarcasm (reminiscent of the witty Jarvis from Iron Man, which a clipped and formal tone taken from Siri) telling Kid Carpet that he was a kid’s entertainer to Kid Carpet’s jokey and self-depreciating dismay.
Whilst Kid Carpet mused that he really wanted to shake things up and see some snow fall in the Snow Globe, a bizarre series of characters (all played by the brilliantly energetic Susie Donkin) burst on stage. From Claire the Caretaker berating Kid Carpet for making a mess which led to a song about sneaky Evil Puffins, to a Weather Forecaster and a very enthusiastic rock ‘n roll number about the dangers of Black Ice; the songs were wacky, weird and wholly confusing but had the children in the front row in fits of giggles as finger glove puffins escaped the glance of Kid Carpet.
After a song about Snowmen, and a polar explorer in search of the South Pole but getting lost in Bedminster, Donkin came on stage dressed as Ronaldo claiming that he was the best at everything, demanding a match to prove this fact in a frankly terrible Spanish accent. Running through a scatological rendition of Peter Pan (which was met by explosive laughter from the front row), to the denouement as Donkin came back as Kylie Monogue in a slightly better aussie accent, a bright blue wig, glittery gold shorts and silver heels for the duo to perform a break-down remix of a few favourite nursery rhymes, to which every child in the audience sung along to. She then saved the day by bringing her two biggest fans on stage (quite literally) and bringing a flurry of fake snow into the Lantern. Good old Kylie.
"Snow Globe by Kid Carpet is a nonsensical and fun tale that children will adore. "
With no straightforward narrative, no didactic notes hidden for us to uncover in the songs and, well, no real point to this play – Carpet and Donkin present a fragmented frenzy of funny characters, bright colours, silly songs about not much, a motley arrangement of characters and surreal games. This may sound negative – it’s not: I watched in delight as the children were hooked on the ludic tableaux, shrieking hysterically with laughter, volunteering themselves and their red-faced Mums to stand on stage and calling Carpet out whenever he did something silly (which was quite a lot). This is a funny, quirky and energetic Christmas show about nothing other than making children laugh, which it succeeded in a snowy blizzard of brilliantly unpretentious and upfront children’s comedy.
Catch Kid Carpet's Snow Globe at The Lantern, on until January 7 2018. Grab your tickets here and make sure to always avoid evil puffins.
Photos by Paul Blakemore.