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Once Upon A Christmas

Experiential theatre specialists Look Left Look Right serve up a festive journey round Covent Garden

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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The Fairy Godmother (Nicky Goldie) with an audience member
© Jeff Moore

Look Left Look Right, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... After the simply spectacular Above & Beyond at the Corinthia Hotel earlier this year, this interactive promenade theatre outfit return with the suitably titled Once Upon A Christmas, based in Covent Garden, beginning at ELF Headquarters.

It's not giving too much away to say that your journey starts with a drink of 'elfa-seltzer', before you head off on an adventure you never dreamed of having in such a central London location. The mission? You must save Christmas, of course! Even this Jew couldn't turn that one down.

You'll meet everyone from elves to spell-bound mice on your sparkly, fast-paced trip, and depending on your path (you take on the show with a partner, and you're split up for part of the time, giving you plenty to catch up on after), there are plenty more surprises and unusual experiences to be had. Many of the shops and buildings in the area have worked with the company, so you'll end up in some unexpected locations during the 70 minute running time - all part of the fun.

You might sip tea with an Ugly Sister suffering from low self-esteem (hey, I meant it when I told mine she had a nice face – actor Euan Forsyth is rather dishy under all that makeup), meet up with Pantoland's Poet Laureate (wonderful Laura Evelyn – a perfect combination of panicky and conspiratorial) or get cosy with the Fairy Godmother (a twinkly Nicky Goldie).

And of course, at some point in this adventure you must cross paths with Prince Charming and Cinderella (Martin Richardson and Natasha Staples), who are just as gorgeous and regal as you might expect – though they too have surprises in store.

As with their last effort, this is a well-thought out, cleverly scripted piece of festive joy, immaculately managed by Charlotte McBrearty and her team. Don't be frightened off by it being in Covent Garden - although it is certainly more exposing than Above & Beyond, which was set mainly within the confines of a hotel, Look Left Look Right know how to push your boundaries without shoving you over them – go with the flow, and you'll have a huge amount of fun.

Book before this sells out – as it no doubt will.

Once Upon A Christmas, which features as one of our top Christmas shows, continues until 15 December

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