Lace Market Theatre,Nottingham
THE Firebird, by Neil Duffield, is not so much a pantomime as a classic fairy story in the style of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.Although there are moments throughout the play where typical pantomime audience interaction is required, the play itself is a magical story - a true family Christmas experience.
The play is a fantastical tale set in Russia, of handsome Prince Ivan (Martin Pikett) shunned by his father, the Tsar (Richard Fife) because of his sister's evil deceitfulness (Michelle Smith). The bird has been stealing golden apples from his father's tree! After catching The Firebird, (Hannah Lily) but then releasing it, after the Firebird gave up one of it's feathers in return for it's freedom, the young prince is eventually banished from the Tsar's Kingdom.
The prince roams the woods looking for the magical Firebird - the only way he can regain his father's love and respect. On his travels he meets an evil sorcerer (Richard Fife), a friendly wolf (Damian Frendo), a cannibal witch (Lorna McCullough) and the beautiful Princess Vasilisa ( Francesca Lawson).
The show is interwoven with marvellous songs and incidental music. composed by Piotr Wisniewski, which give the play a real atmosphere and are a delight to young and old. The Firebird has all the elements of a traditional Christmas show for all the family - laughter, romance, baddies and goodies, friendship, jealousy, some audience participation and last, but definitely not least, a happy ending.
The whole cast throw themselves into the play with great gusto, great lighting effects and a well utilised stage make for a very enjoyable piece of Christmas fare.
The Firebird is roosting at The Lace Market Theatre until Saturday 21 December 2013