Flora’s Fairy Challenge

Citizens, Glasgow

Mary Brennan


Up to the top of the stairs, turn right. Through a door and... oh my word, we’re at the North Pole. A compact snowy realm that the tots on floor cushions can reach out and touch. Some of them will even go there once Flora, the explorer, sets off on her mission: to find the magic dust that gets Santa’s sleigh airborne – a challenge that will require little helpers both on and off the stage.

Some big folk at the Citz have already gone the extra polar mile to make this a dream ticket for the 3 - 6 age group. Flora (an irrepressible Stephanie McGregor) has set up camp, complete with wee orange tent and Christmas tree, in hopes of completing her ‘selfie’ collection – a piccie of herself with Santa. It’s already a delightful-looking set, but when Flora gets Santa’s message about needing magic dust, something that’s also magic happens before our very eyes. Neil Haynes’s cunning set transforms, as if invisible hands were making stuff disappear and other stuff pop up so that Flora suddenly finds herself in the whimsical fairy factory where the dust is made.

All kinds of daft malarkey ensue, with lots of falling over and loopy antics that are – thanks to writer/director Andrew McGregor’s instincts and input from Marianne Yeomans – entertainingly age appropriate, although adults are in fits of laughter as well. Totally understandable – Stephanie McGregor is an unstinting, pell-mell whirlwind of comedic mayhem, getting in a swither because she’s really not brave at all, and then getting in a fankle when she squares up to making the magic dust that finally floats down on all of us – shh! don’t tell Santa, but I’ve kept mine...