Beneath the Blizzard @ The Bike Shed Theatre

Credit: Paul Blakemore

Credit: Paul Blakemore

Last night I saw a brilliant show at the Bike Shed Theatre – Beneath the Blizzard – by award-winning theatre company and band, Fine Chisel.

A raging blizzard, creating giant snowmen, has forced people underground into the network of tunnels beneath Exeter. In the bunker below you’ll find a community of survivors trying to get by with little power and only distant memories of the stars above.

Here are five reasons why you should go see Beneath the Blizzard this Christmas:

  1. The music
    Beneath the Blizzard is a musical with edge. Folk music weaves throughout the story, raising spirits with foot-stomping beats, transforming the theatre into an underground cabaret and drawing us in to the story with mournful ballads.

    Bunk bed scene from Beneath the Blizzard

    Credit: Paul Blakemore

  2. The characters are utterly believable
    From the well-spoken tyrant mayor who barks commands through a loudspeaker, to a pair of doddery gardeners, the actors cleverly jump into a range of roles.  Sprout remains a constant as we go in search of rebel musician Skirret, with the help of the mysterious Mulligan.
  3. It’s very funny
    In a world where a raw Brussel sprout is a mouth-watering treat and the Mayor’s only friend is a rubber duck named Ducky,  humour constantly lightens the dark undertones of the story. I also loved the way the characters interacted with the audience. Prepare to have a torch shone in your face!
  4. You’ll be totally immersed in their world
    Scene from Beneath the Blizzard

    Credit: Paul Blakemore

    Through clever lighting and creative use of the space, you’ll believe you really are underground in post-apocalyptic Exeter. The audience follows the actors on their adventure to the exercise bike/energy generator in the corner,  through the tunnels around the back and up and out of the hatch into the freezing world above.  You’re not just onlookers sitting comfortably in a theatre, you become part of the story.

  5. It’s thought-provoking, particularly after the 2016 we’ve had
    At a time of year when most of us are stressing about present shopping and Christmas card lists, it might just put things into perspective.

The show is aimed at 8+. They’ll love it, especially if they’re music lovers and not bothered about panto princesses. It definitely appeals to adults (you don’t need to take kids), particularly an audience looking for something a bit different, a bit more subversive, from a Christmas show.

Prepare to laugh, sing and lose yourself in Fine Chisel’s new world.

Such a shame my children are too little to appreciate this. I hope the Bike Shed Theatre continues to bring Christmas shows  to the stage so they can experience immersive theatre like this one day.

Book it now

8 Dec – 7 Jan, 7pm and 2.30pm (matinees not everyday, please see website).

Tickets: £12 (£10); Members, £10 (£8)

*Disclaimer: I was very kindly given press tickets to the show. All opinions are my own.

Beneath the Blizzard poster


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