THANKS to a minor Scotrail failure, I missed the first five minutes of The Edibles; but the gales of infant laughter floating downstairs, as I rushed in, said plenty of fun was under way.
The Edibles - Eastwood Park Theatre, giffnock
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Staged by the touring Grinagog company, and set to arrive today at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, The Edibles is set on Christmas Eve in a bakery that looks like a gingerbread house, all brown walls with curly white trim and little red window-frames. Three absent-minded chefs receive an order for a splendid three-tier Christmas cake; but their efforts to keep it safe until its owner collects it are repeatedly frustrated by a large, naughty mouse, which creeps in and steals the top tier, or even dons a moustache and poses as the customer himself.
So far, so simple; the kids love the story, chant along with the rhythm of the baking – flour, sugar, butter, eggs – and often laugh at the slapstick. There are moments when the physical comedy seems seriously over-emphatic and forced, as if the three performers (Becki Gerrard, Alasdair Hankinson and Clare McGarry) were trying much too hard to be funny. At heart, though, The Edibles is a good-looking, good-hearted show, with fine jazz-inflected music by Oliver Searle, attractive design by Ali Maclaurin, and gorgeous mouse-puppets, which the children get to meet in lovely moments of real interaction. If you’re looking for gentle, attractive entertainment for restless two-to-four-year-olds, this Christmas Eve, then The Edibles fills the bill, with plenty of charm and professionalism.