The Ballad of Rudy at the Royal Exchange: “Hey Reindeer, you got Groove.”

Polly Checkland Harding

The animals of the Arctic have got the blues running through them in this jazz-inspired Christmas parable about a reindeer who stands out from the crowd…

It’s kind of amazing when you think about the number of different stories that get told at the Royal Exchange theatre. This Christmas, in the main theatre, there’s the darkly enchanting blend of fairy tales that is Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical Into the Woods – but for littler people (or the more faint of heart), the Studio is host to something equally musical, but a lot more groove than Grimm.

The performances are smart, funny, and – as one young punter says in the trailer – “cheeky”

The Ballad of Rudy, much like the story of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, is all about being a bit of an outsider – except that this time it’s Rudy’s melodic talents that set him apart. Where in Happy Feet the penguins had a thing for dancing, here they’re the kings of jazz; on his adventure, Rudy meets polar bears who can croon the blues, a burrow of jamming puffins and beat-boxing arctic foxes to boot.

It’s all going on at the North Pole Jazz Lounge, where Rudy’s learns that standing out from the crowd can be a good thing – and where the audience is treated to a stunning set, clever costumes and puppetry, plus the magic of live music. The performances are smart, funny, and – as one young punter says in the trailer – “cheeky”. Don’t miss this zippy, original show created by Goblin children’s theatre company; we promise you’ll come out feeling Christmassey.

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