Playhouse Theatre, Salisbury – until 27 December 2020
Guest reviewer: Alexandra Browning
Nothing gets you more into the Christmas spirit than a Christmas musical, and at Salisbury Playhouse it’s showtime (with a very warm welcome). My first note of great appreciation goes to the team working at the Playhouse which has ensured a very safe and pleasant experience. The effort that has gone into guaranteeing the theatre is ready for safe viewing is very evident and welcoming.
Little Robin Redbreast is a wonderful Christmas musical, the socially-distanced crew is marvellous at portraying a festive wonder. The musical sees you follow Robin, a small boy, through a magical winter wonderland, with a few local-to-Salisbury references made along the way. Ryan Heenan, as Robin, portrays the wonder of Christmas through a child’s eyes in the most entertaining way. Heenan’s portrayal of Robin allows for the audience to follow him on a winter adventure. Similar to opening the doors on an advent calendar, Robin lets us follow him on the countdown to Christmas.
Throughout the magical musical, we see the highly skilled cast through a variety of scenes. A few personal highlights are a family of squirrels rapping, mice tapping and a family of Swedish reindeer. There is a spectacular mix of light humoured puns and some fantastic nut-related jokes. Throughout the musical Dan Smith, as Daddy, shows his fantastic array of skills with his piano playing for the musical and his fantastic embodiment of Daddy Squirrel. Alongside Smith, Philippa Hogg, as Molly, joins in the piano playing and also displays a fantastic skill for tap dance in a Mouse and Robin performance with Heenan.
The cast and crew of Little Robin Redbreast do a marvellous job of bringing a traditional Christmas spirit into a very unconventional year. I would say anyone in need of a little festive treat would be delighted with the performance at Salisbury Playhouse.