December 8, 2011


Mystery, mahem and even… murder?!

The best way to sum up Toys is: think Toy Story, but for twisted grown ups (this is definitely not a show for wee-ones). The story focuses on a group of toys who have just seen their owner, Charlie, being driven away in “a big white Christmas van with blikny lights,” as the character Ball puts it.

We meet Ball before the show as she runs about on stage (and through the audience) thrilled to see people filling in, and giving a big hug to Santa Claus who was taking pictures with audience members while we waited to enter the theatre.

We meet the characters one by one, as they each have their individual time on stage, trying to solve the mystery of who they believe killed Charlie. All the toys have their own hilarious personalities and quirks, expertly performed by the various actors. From effervescent Ball to pants-less G.I Joe to a sexually confused Barbie and more. Toys very cleverly looks at Christmas from the perspective of the toys, the potential for new playmates, the threat of being replaced by a “stupid box with an X on it” and the ever looming fear of being sent to the dump. This is not an entirely new concept but it is done very well here, this is the first time I’ve seen toys plotting murder!

My personal top three characters would have to be G.I. Joe aka Snake Eyes, Ball and Jack in the Box. However, his jokes about having a black president did not strike a good note with the audience.  Otherwise a hilarious and highly entertaining show that I highly recommend to all with a sense of humour.

I make a special mention to BATS for having Santa and his helpers ready to greet us at the door with Foxton Fizz (a childhood favourite), Christmas mince pies and of course a photo on Santa’s lap. Little touches like that really top off the whole experience.

A warning to anyone heading to this show, avoid the front row unless you’re fond of audience participation!

Written, by Dan Musgrove and Natalie Medlock
Season: 7th December - 17th December 2011 (no show Sun/Mon)
Time: 9pm (7pm and 9pm from December 13th)
Price: $20 Full / $14 Concession / $15 Groups 8+
Length:1hr 40min
Venue: Bats Theatre (show info page)

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