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The Little Match Girl at the Blue Elephant Theatre

Published by: Carolin Kopplin on 14th Dec 2015 | View all blogs by Carolin Kopplin

You know what happens when you sing on Christmas –

Love and Magic fill the air.

Moon On A Stick are an emerging company focussing on puppetry and visual theatre for children and adults alike. Their production of Hans Christian Andersen's short story is geared towards young children and therefore has been changed somewhat to make it more suitable for a younger audience.

The performance begins with a snowball fight between the actors before the Little Match Girl emerges. It is Christmas Eve and the little girl is selling matches to support her sick mother but nobody seems interested in buying them. She is shivering in the cold but as she is conversing with the Narrator, magic things are beginning to happen: first a warming stove appears, then her late grandmother. When the little girl sits down to eat her few crumbs, a cat with an eye patch comes begging for food and she shares what food she has with the little lonely stray, whom she calls Pirate. She also befriends a Robin, who is a messenger from her grandmother, and protects him from the evil rats.

The actors/puppeteers manage to keep the attention of their young audience with their magical story. It is based on Andersen's tale but lacks the harshness and despair of the original. Instead the poor Match Girl makes friends with the cat Pirate and the Robin, meets Santa Claus, and takes a trip to the moon where she meets her grandmother again. In the end she receives a wonderful gift. Her story is a great adventure as she is fighting rats, riding reindeers and flying through the air. It is interspersed with Christmas carols and short playful scenes by the actors.

The puppeteers make all the characters in the story come alive and likeable. My favourite has to be Pirate because I cannot imagine anything cuter than a ginger cat with an eye patch. The production is geared towards children but it is exciting enough to hold the attention of an adult audience.

A delightful Christmas tale for smaller children.

By Carolin Kopplin

Until 16th December 2015

Blue Elephant Theatre

www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk

Further info: www.moononastickproductions.com

For ages 3+.

Running time: 45 minutes.

Photo by Ellen Sussams.

Comments

3 Comments

  • Elaine Pinkus
    by Elaine Pinkus 2 years ago
    How ironic. Last night I saw Little Match Girl at Lilian Baylis studio. Coincidence? But like you, loved it, a perfect Christmas treat. Different productions but beautiful Hans Christian Andersen story. What more could we want!
  • Carolin Kopplin
    by Carolin Kopplin 2 years ago
    That's right. I liked this production because it showed that the situation of the little girl was very serious but there was still hope for her and it ended well. The original story would have been too dark. Was your production closer to Andersen's story?
  • Elaine Pinkus
    by Elaine Pinkus 2 years ago
    Yes, because there is a quasi parable there. But the ending is changed. She does not go to heaven with her grandmother (at least not as we know it), but rather to the moon where she encounters an astronaut and saves him with one of her matches. That too was beautiful. We also see a new match girl at the end. But there are moments of such sadness and despair that we wonder if we have learned anything at all in our crazy society.
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