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Friday, 21 November 2014

The Christmas Grump: A Northern Stage Production for children aged 6 and under

Yesterday, I had a special date with my 3 year old. We caught the bus to Newcastle (an adventure in itself for any 3 year old) to watch a performance of The Christmas Grump which has been produced by the Northern Stage this Christmas, especially with young children in mind.

Photo Credit: Topher MGrillis

If you've never been to The Northern Stage before, this show is a perfect introduction to live music and theatre for little ones. There is no allocated seating and you are free to sit in the stands or on special rugs on the floor. Lots of children like to sit on their parents' knee and they have the freedom to cuddle in (or even lie down if like Jack this is what they choose to do!). The show is just long enough (1 hour) to hold the attention of the really small children and there are loo's and baby change facilities right by the stage door which you are free to dash out to at any point throughout the show without fear of disrupting others should you need to. The laid back ethos of this show even allows you to bring your own snacks and drinks in too. Sounds perfect doesn't it? All of this is even before I've even started telling you about the show itself.

Photo Credit: Topher MGrillis

The Christmas Grump has been inspired by Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. Scrooge has been replaced with toyshop owner Mr Scratch who is brought to life by Michael Blair (love his 'meh' catchphrase). Mr Scratch hates Christmas and the very mention of the word will make him almost sick in his hand (to the delight of the audience). The acting is absolutely superb throughout and although this show has been designed for children aged 6 and under, adults too will certainly enjoy watching and will appreciate the fine acting, stage production and slapstick humour as well. 

Photo Credit: Topher MGrillis

Michael is joined by Ruth Johnson and Alice Blundell who play two seven years olds determined to break into Mr Scratch's toy shop and with the help of Katie (Mr Scratch's daughter - played by Alexandra Tahnee) they hatch a plan to help Mr Scratch see the error of his mean and miserable ways. 

The talented foursome take you on a variety of adventures from riding horses through the wild wild west to singing along with pirates aboard their ship but my favourite scene has to be at The North Pole where the elves are doooooooomed. There is plenty of audience participation throughout and nothing beats watching your three year old laughing out loud and realising that you are doing the same.

Photo Credit: Topher MGrillis

So much thought, time and effort has gone into the show and the production is of the highest calibre (The Northern Stage is one of the top 10 producing theatre's in the country). There is live music and singing and the superb effects and clever scene changes are a joy to watch. This is not a typical dumbed down show for pre-schoolers, you will get the full theatre experience here!

Photo Credit: Topher MGrillis

The Christmas Grump was enjoyed in equal measures by the babies in the audience, the year 2 class on their school trip, the grandparents with their grandchildren and groups of mums and dads with their toddlers. I really would recommend The Christmas Grump for the whole family. The show continues until 3rd January. Tickets are £12.50 for adults, £9.50 for children and under 1's are £2 and are available here.

The Northern Stage is easy to find in the centre of Newcastle as part of the Newcastle University Campus. The adjoining restaurant - McKenna's at Northern stage is worth a visit pre or post theatre with home cooked children's meals costing only £3.95 including a drink and I enjoyed a fresh beef and horseradish panini with salad for only £4.25. Bargain!

At the end of the show we bought The Christmas Grump book and CD which was on sale in the lobby for only £4.95. I love how the book mentions Newcastle and I'm going to add it to our Christmas Book Advent Tree next year (and in years to come) and I'm sure it will be a fond reminder of how much we enjoyed the show.

For further reading try reviews of the show from:-

Me add three


  1. nice fun pic All mobile price and news bellow link

  2. This sounds like a great production, and it really does seem like they've thought through what families need. I love the sound of the accessible loos and the fact you can take your own snacks! It's great that it appeals to the whole family - I hope it's a sell out as a result! Thanks for linking up to #ChristmasCountdown

  3. It sounds like you had a great time! What a fab sounding show.....Very family orientated! :D

  4. This sounds like great fun. I do love the sound of the relaxed seating arrangements - perfect for little ones.


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