The Elves and the Shoemaker at York Theatre Royal

By Michelle Rawlins

The Elves and the Shoemaker at York Theatre Royal is an enchanting little production that can’t fail to leave you utterly mesmerised this Christmas.

Telling the much loved story of the endearing, poverty-stricken cobbler and his wife, the two person cast magically transports you back to early 19th century wintertime Germany, where you can’t help feeling life was far more simplistic and devoid of the material expectations we have become accustomed to.

But for this husband and wife team, life really has taken a tough downward turn. With only a single piece of leather left, a bread bin devoid of anything for supper and not a single log for the fire, Christmas Day is destined to be a cold and hungry one.

However, their run of bad luck comes to a somewhat unexpected and magical end when, at the stroke of midnight, two little elves appear at the window of the ‘Big Uns’  rather cold workshop, as they fall into a fretful sleep.

The kindhearted, fun-loving elves – in the form of the most exquisite wooden puppets, commanded by the two-actor cast, come to life, entertaining children and adults alike with their unique and enchanting little dialect. “Me sad,” one says to the other. 

After realising what a desperate state their ‘landlords’ are in, they set work on weaving their magic, chatting away in their own gobbledegook, in a bid to help the kind couple who have been left in dire straits.

The plot is played out in an intimate little set, made up of a exquisite and intricate wooden fold up kitchen and workshop, actors Peyvand Sadeghian and Niall Costigan, do a wondrous job, intermingling the most romantic and moving of dance and songs, to keep a young audience thoroughly captivated.

This 50 minute show, first told as a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm is aimed at children aged 3 – 8, and has truly been brought back to life in the most wondrous of ways by award-winning leading playwright, Mike Kenny. 

Earlier this year his version of Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen was shown at the same theatre as part of its UK tour.

And this show, that is destined to be equally as successful, is just as charming, poignant and gentle, and a real must for the festive season.


Showing until January 5 2019

Tickets: From £12.00

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