Brat Kids Carnival
Christmas in Leicester Square
Reviewed – 17th November
“Monkey’s volcanic energy in particular helped to keep engagement at a maximum”
Brat Kids Carnival is certainly not lacking in atmosphere – in a gorgeous circus-tent-esque structure in the midst of all the Christmas stalls in Leicester Square, it’s easy to get swept up in the spirit of the festivities. And although the show’s sizzling energy means it never dampens the mood, it also doesn’t always match the expectations that its surrounding grotto creates.
Brat Kids Carnival establishes Monkey (played, incidentally, by American entertainer Mr Monkey) as the MC of the proceedings, with assistance from Vicky Falconer Pritchard as the Party Panda. Even before the show starts, they interact with the audience and play a game of cat and mouse around the space; they made for an endearing pair, and Monkey’s volcanic energy in particular helped to keep engagement at a maximum. The cast is rounded out by Luke Hubbard, Crystal Stacey, and Rowan Thomas who make up the various circus acts that take place.
Unfortunately, not all of acts feel fully developed. The first is a giant purple alien singing, which while initially entertaining, never feels like it expands on its premise, and as a result the attention of the audience noticeably waned during the latter half of the act. This was not an uncommon theme, and also occurred chiefly in a hula-hooping act. Thankfully, Monkey and Party Panda’s interludes help to perk up the audience, with one segment where a child had to throw a piece of banana into Monkey’s mouth proving to be a comic goldmine.
A number of acts were also hugely entertaining – Hubbard and Thomas as a pair of flamingos trying to outdo each other was immense fun, as the act was developed beyond just a showcase of skills into a story, with reams of playfulness and character. This also stood out due to being the only double act in the show – it would’ve been great to have seen more instances where the cast interacted in the acts, and to allow mini-narratives to organically grow in this way.
Brat Kids Carnival’s design is joyous – backlighting the performers as they arrive on stage provides a sense of grandeur, which is only exacerbated by the pulsating music and magnificent costumes. It’s a shame that the content of the acts feels largely undercooked, as every other aspect is primed for top-quality family fun.
Reviewed by Tom Francis
Photography by Jane Hobson
Brat Kids Carnival
Christmas in Leicester Square until 30th December