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Grief and fluff: Tiger @OmnibusTheatre

Death is something we all will face. After all, nobody gets out of here alive. But how do you get past it when grief is all you can feel? And this is the premise of Tiger, currently playing at Omnibus Theatre . It's a fascinating exploration of the stages of grief. And with a terrific cast to take you on this journey, it's an endearing and sweet story that has you engaged from the start, wondering what will happen next.  We are introduced to Alice (Poppy Allen-Quarmby) as she gives a stand-up routine. It's not particularly funny and starts to veer into the topic of dying. Something isn't right. She used to be good at this but can't move forward. Soon, she is back in her London apartment with her partner Oli (Luke Nunn), discussing that they need to get a lodger to make ends meet.  Oli is a doctor working night shifts at the local NHS hospital. Alice is not ready to face a return to stand up or anything. So when the first potential lodger arrives (Meg Lewis), looking

Meanwhile in Battersia: Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves @theatre503

There is a scene in the early part of Scrooge and The Seven Dwarves at Theatre 503 where Santa appears and asks the children in the audience what they want for Christmas. "A butler" replies one. You know you're in Battersea with responses like that.

But this isn't just a panto that you get your nanny to take the children to while shopping on Kings Road. The Sleeping Trees have again fused fairy tale and Christmas stories to create an anarchic panto tale about Christmas. With lashings of silliness to boot it may not be a traditional panto, but it is still a lot of fun.

The premise is that the wicked witch has stolen Christmas spirit and everything is upside down. Snow White has lost her seven dwarves in Fairyland and meanwhile in Victorian London Tiny Tim has started to develop a nasty cough. Only one man - Scrooge - can save Christmas since he had concealed his Christmas spirit under a lot of bah and humbug.

Along the way there are poison lemons, vain mirrors that run out of batteries and a one man band in the corner (that's Ben Hales). There is also a subplot about the troupe going to Hollywood too which is probably a story too far.

But it is hard not to like (and laugh) at the ingenuity of John Woodburn, James Dunnell-Smith and Joshua George Smith of Sleeping Trees. They create a high energy panto consisting of Scrooge, Snow White, the Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, the seven dwarves and Santa.

Directed by Simon Evans, Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves is at Theatre 503 until 7 January. For little kids and big kids alike.


Photo credit: production images by David Monteith-Hodge

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