The Magic Elves at Bristol Old Vic Studio

magicelves1ONE day, more than ten years ago in Bristol, fledgling musician, singer and DJ Ed Patrick crawled into the Google underlay, found an anagram site, pressed a button … and out came Kid Carpet.

Kid has been delighting children and their parents ever since, and his latest show, The Magic Elves, is playing at Bristol Old Vic studio this Christmas.

As is usual for the seasonal family show, the action is on the floor, with benches, seats and high stools all around – and audience participation is compulsory.

The inspiration is a bit the Grimm Brothers Elves and the Shoemaker, and a bit The Red Shoes, but all the new stuff comes from Kid and his two multi-tasking elves, Isabelle Cressy and Chris Farish.

Kid just wants to play his music, and when his parents go away on holiday and ask him to look after their colourful but very oddly stocked discount shoe shop, he’s flummoxed.

There’s a jukebox in the shop, with elfin figures that dance in time to the music.

But all that changes with the arrival of the super-tense Mr Numbers, wincing under the pressure of his brogues, slapping big red NO MUSIC notices on the jukebox and demanding payment of squillions of owed rent.

magicelves2The start of salvation arrives with two bears, and the baby needs new lightweight shoes to help him climb trees. But Kid’s got no materials and no talent for cobbling.

Enter the elves…

By the very happy end of the show, everyone’s dancing to the Carpet speciality, “kiddy disco punk.” Several of the youngest children – and this show is designed for anyone aged seven and under – were up on their feet interacting with bears, corgis, elves and princesses long before the finale, and that’s just what the Bristol Old Vic studio Christmas show is all about.

Mike Ackers’ show, directed by Miranda Cromwell, is a perfect introduction to live performance for the very youngest children, and is on at various day times until 3rd January.



Photographs by Paul Blakemore

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