Almost Perfect Five Children... and It!

Nick Hennegan strongly recommends a Christmas trip to The Tabard Theatre

The children come face to face with the law

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Clive Francis Brings Dickens to Life at The Tabard

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December 20, 2022

Christmas is sometimes the ONLY time people go to the theatre and it’s usually for a pantomime. (Oh yes it is!)

Obviously, we’re blessed in London, the theatrical capital of the world - sorry New York and Paris - with some of the very best theatre. But Christmas shows and pantomimes are a bit thin on the ground in the centre of town.

But generally BECAUSE the theatrical bar is so high it’s such a pleasure to come across a show - a Christmas Family show - as all-round near perfect as “Five Children and It” at the Tabard Studio Theatre in Chiswick.

It’s not completely perfect, but the occasional chaotic rough edge is what makes it the completely perfect Family Show.

The actors are all perfectly cast and talented both physically and emotionally and the set, although not Big Panto Glamorous, is completely functional and adds to the charm of the whole show. There’s something for everyone here.

The charming story is adapted from the book written by E. Nesbit. She also wrote The Railway Children in 1906. Here, the kids discover a thousand-year-old wish-granting sand-fairy and learn big lessons about life, aspiration and being kind to each other.

It could have been a cutesy, moral tale of upper-class kids having a jolly smashing, ripping time, but Louise Haddington’s adaptation and Simon Reilly’s direction transcends the Edwardian sensibilities and gives these last century kids a very contemporary and relevant presence for today with plenty of slap-stick, comedy and even Christmas Carols. How are the cast even old enough to be on stage? Well, of course, that’s because they are very talented actors playing their young parts perfectly.

Even the It, IS. There really is nothing to dislike here. Take the WHOLE family. Like all the best Christmas shows, there’s something for everyone. Just go. Your whole family holiday season will be improved! Completely!

Nick Hennegan


Five Children and It continues at the Tabard until New Year's Eve.

You can book online on the Tabard Theatre web site or call the box office on 020 8995 6035.

Theatre at the Tabard is at 2 Bath Road, Chiswick (W4 1LW).


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