TOYS FOR CHRISTMAS
UNDER the resolute bronze oyes are abounding, too. That old magi
of Admirals Jellicoe and Beattie and dwarfed by Nelson on his pillar, the great Christmas tree, Norway's gift, is sparkling again in Trafalgar Square. Candles gleam like fiery diamonds
in the frozen darkness. A rushing chatter of converging buses finds accompaniments in the twitter of birds in the belfry of St. Martin-inthe-Fields, the warbling of carolsingers in the porch and up the road at the Henry Irving statue. " God
bless us all," said Tiny Tim. The atmospheres of Dingley Dell and Bethlehem merge in an English Christmas. There is a lovely crib in St. Patrick's, Soho Square. That old Scrooge, the theatre critic, puts aside all thoughts of analysing theme, construction, production and playing, for a week. There is more important work afoot. What does the theatres' stocking hold for good children?
Mr. Tommy Trinder, that amiable and impertinent buffoon, Buttons in Puss-in-Boots (LONDON PALL Antual) offers new departures in pantomime; in one scene, giant snails, jockeyed by other members of the cast, will race for the applause of the young. in another there will be a ballet of cats, produced by Miss Pauline Grant. At the LoNooN CASINO, Little Miss MIMI is already sitting on her tuffet and descending with the help of other talented people, to entertain in singing, dancing, tumbling, and all the fun of the fair. An educated lady horse, Silver, is, I understand, one of the stars of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (VICTORIA PALACE) and has almost a whole act to herself. She is a temperamental actress, and goes her own way, but is fond of children. Beauty and the Beast (MERCURY) and the Mills Circus at OLYMPIA complete a range which should prove attractive to the whole family.
Shows of the more traditional type
clan, Mr. Robert Atkins, who holds the seasons in his fee, will conjure fairies, elves. rustics and lovers from the dressing-rooms of the ST. MARTiers for afternoon performances of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream; and Charley's A ant. indefatigable spinster. already sprints through the PICCADILLY. while Peter Pan, in the improbable shape of Miss Margaret Lockwood. zooms and pops the question at the Scm.A. A distinguished Long John Silver, Mr. Donald Wolfit, in Treasure Island, will shiver the timbers of the FORTUNE. THEATRE; Where the Rainbow Ends has begun at the COMEDY, in the afternoons, and Hansel and Gretel, and another Beauty and the Beast will delight at SADLER'S WELLS. All in all, there is no lack of digestible entertainment available for all purses. The past week has seen two new toys brought prematurely from the cupboard for the entertainment of critics. Aunt Agatha Christie gave us Murder at the Vicarage (PLAYHOUSE) and Cousin Lupino Lane wound op his music-box, Me and My Girl (WINTER GARDEN). and set it tinkling to his own incredible gyrations.
Miss Christic's play is like one of those puzzles that come in large red cardboard boxes topped by a gaudy picture. Inside are little figures crudely cut from violently coloured paper. On the afternoon of Boxing Day the family may lie on the carpet, before a wild fire, and try to work the paper persons into the proper positions which lead to the solution.
A different type of toy, a JumpingJack-in-the-Box, is Cousin Lupino. Me and My Girl is a fairy tale, telling of one Bill of Lambeth who became a toff and a member of the House of Lords.
And now. a Happy Christmas to all Tflh CATnotic HLRALD'S theatregoers. May they enjoy their shows 'from overture to the last curtain,
God bless them all. W. J. I.