I have to admit Christmas this year really has crept upon me and I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel ready to switch off due to hectic work and family life. However, if there is one thing I look forward to and make time for is the Hijinx Christmas show. After attending last year’s Snow Queen, (http://www.asiw.co.uk/reviews/snow-queen-odyssey-hijinx-wales-millennium-centre) and being suitably impressed I have vowed to myself to try and attend their annual Christmas show every year.
See what stands Hijinx apart from other types of Christmas shows is that Hijinx always manage to leave a lasting impression to really make you think and stay with you; The Second Star to the Right was again no exception. This year tackled themes that adults as well as children can really relate to; social media obsessions, misconceptions, fear mongering and career pressures. We are all guilty of one or all of the above mentioned. Now I know you may be thinking that this could be turning into some life lesson lecture or a telling off but the beautiful subtelty of the way in which these themes were addressed was pulled off with storytelling skill suitable and accessible for both adults and children to understand. Hijinx’s relatable theatre for all ages is one of the qualities I really admire, it does not matter if you have no children in tow you always feel welcome and can always connect.
As some of you who have attended and supported Hijinx theatre over the years will have known of the passing of Martin Vick last December. I had the pleasure to see Martin perform in Meet Fred last year and was truly captivated by his performance and what he brought to the show. It really was great to see that Director Jon Dafydd-Kidd had chosen to create a show along with Writer Llinos Mai inspired by Martin’s joyful spirit and a celebration of imagination.
The boundless possibilities of imagination and what we can achieve from that in our reality was at the heart of this show. We went on a journey with the three main characters who had become chained to the daily grind and pressures of life, and were transported to Neverland where senses, feelings and emotions were awoken and asked important questions of the main characters making them reevaluate the priorities in their lives. As the journey continued meeting the wild and wonderful characters of Neverland I began to think about the priorities in my life and what mattered more to me. I am sure I am not the only one who went away and thought about whether they were maintaining a healthy work/personal life balance. Like I said earlier, that really is the beautiful subtlety of sensitive subjects that Hijinx work hard to deliver time and time again.
Imagination is a truly wonderful gift to our lives and is something that as we get older we are programmed to think that imagination is something that is childish, naive and that it is just a mere pipe dream rather than anything worthwhile. The Second Star to the Right attempted to disprove this way of thinking and that in fact imagination can be the foundation to build dreams on to become something that you strive for, be inspired about and ultimately achieve.
In a world becoming increasingly harder to live your life the way you want with freedom of speech, movement, religion, faith and life choices being infringed on, shouldn’t we just dare to dream once in a while, throw caution to the wind and imagine that we can be what we always wanted to be or do? As a child I loved to play and becoming an actress I was always so grateful that I have never stopped using my imagination and the permission to play. I really do think that as adults we can be juggling so many spinning plates it is no wonder that we sometimes crash and burn when we try to keep up with society pressures. The Second Star to the Right asked us to let go of expectations, pressure and embrace the mischief, joy and love that imagination can bring to us if we just believe.