Brighton Theatre Royal brings back Nellie Limelight for the children this Christmas

Brighton Theatre Royal will be catering for the younger theatre-goers with the return of Nellie Limelight and The Oysters.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 7:43 am
Nellie, Bert, Terry and Ollie at the top of the world

It comes promised as a charmingly funny Christmas adventure for four to seven-year-olds and their grown-ups, running from December 19-January 5.

Jackie Alexander, Brighton Theatre Royal’s creative learning manager who is producing the show, said: “We premiered it last year and it went so well that we decided to bring it back.

“It has been written by Stuart Warwick who works at Theatre Royal Brighton. He does a number of roles including working front of house and stage door. He has been part of our team for a long time, and he is also a performer and theatre maker. We approached him because we wanted to make a completely new show for Christmas, and we wanted it to be a promenade performance because that allows us to take the children and their parents on a journey. It is a different kind of experience. It starts in the foyer and winds itself around different parts of the theatre. The tale unfolds as we go around and the children will see some of the places that they wouldn’t usually see (though not back-stage). The thing about a promenade performance is that it is a lovely shared experience for everyone. It is only 25 people at a time, and they become part of the show. It is quite a different relationship you have than if you were watching a show on the stage. You really are part of what is happening, which is lovely for the grown-ups and the children that they bring along. It runs for about 50 minutes straight through.

“We approached Simon to write the story. We had come up with the idea of the character but weren’t quite sure what might happen. Stuart has created a storyline around the character… a storyline which is quite bonkers but which really does work.”

When theatre detective Nellie Limelight receives an anonymous call for help she sets out to investigate. Who is Dame Battie Baubles? What has Bert built in his workshop? Why is there seaweed in the grandfather clock?

As audiences follow intrepid investigator Nellie Limelight around Theatre Royal Brighton they uncover a story of stolen jewels, pantomime villains, a broken time machine and a misplaced sea creature. Nellie needs their help to solve this most peculiar case…

Jackie is delighted to have the same actors back.

“The character of Nellie Limelight is brought to life through Florence Leon’s funny, physical and quirky performance. Karl Williams plays Bert, the theatre’s maintenance man who is a dab hand at creating time machines; he also plays Bert’s demanding, selfish and downright nasty sister Dame Battie Baubles.”

Also starring in the show are puppets made by Andy Heath. Andy’s puppet creations have been seen in Harry Hill – the movie; Muppets Most Wanted and Star Wars. The show is directed by Joy Forsythe and designed by Abi Horn.

“Because it was the premiere last year, we found various things that we had to adapt as we went along. We have kept the same story but where some of the bits didn’t work quite so well, we have changed things where we have had to or where perhaps we needed to calm things down a bit and we have made it better. We have made the story clearer in places.”