An enchanting journey into an immersive Christmas experience.
The journey into Santa’s Enchanted Wardrobe began at Claremont Showgrounds for me and Master B (age 5) and Little Miss Sunshine (age 3). We stood and waited at the 'railway station' outside the Tom Wilding Pavilion for our adventure to begin. Soon we were greeted by Mrs McGreedy, clipboard in hand, and ready to guide us into this immersive theatre experience.
Mrs McGreedy gathers her audience for the show
With her strong Irish accent she escorted us into the first scene and quickly put the kids to work, dusting the furniture! This was my first real experience of this type of theatre and I was impressed with how well the actors engaged our diverse group of about 20 people, with kids ranging in age from three to early teens.
Mrs McGreedy handed us over to Peter, whose character is based on one of the children from the CS Lewis series, The Chronicles of Narnia. He took us on an adventure into the wardrobe as we entered the stunning winter forest set. Soon we were introduced to Mr Beaver, a very animated puppet, and members of the audience were engaged to help him with tasks.
The kids were totally absorbed by this stage as the magical scenery and authentic props caught their imaginations. On the next part of our journey, we found ourselves assisting the fawn, Mr Tumnus, to break free from his cell while avoiding the wrath of the White Witch!
The children listen intently as Mr Tumnus explains how they can help him to break free
A clearly delighted Mr Tumnus then took us to his house to learn funny deer lullabies and drink tea (actually apple juice!)
Mr Tumnus tells a story
A short wander through the fairy woodlands, where we met a clever animated unicorn, and we were in Santa’s workshop with another mission to complete. Master B was enthralled with the story here, which revolved around helping two elves, Nobby and Pudding, to fix a faulty toy machine. Success at this task brought us to meet the big man himself, a very engaging Santa who posed for the obligatory photos.
Santa's elves explain how to fix the broken toy machine
This immersive theatre experience is delivered with style and certainly caught the imagination of our kids, who chattered excitedly about what they had seen and done all the way home. It is a magical Christmas experience not to be missed!
Santa’s Enchanted Wardrobe runs at Claremont Showgrounds until Monday, 24 December - see the website for session times.