Santa Claus brings A Slightly Isolated Dog’s usual charm, wit and innuendo to BATS’ Random Stage for the telling of a tale about a Santa Claus who is rather tired of putting up with naughty people’s bullshit.

I shall not go too far into the plot of this sixty-minute show – to save you all from dreaded spoilers – but this Santa’s got a touch of the nihilistic about him, and he absolutely likes it. There is slightly more murder than you’d probably expect in this play, and it’s a very welcome change from our usual Christmas cheer.

A Slightly Isolated Dog’s Andrew Paterson, Suzie Berry, Jack Buchanan and Jonathan Price guide us through this tale, with musical interludes, significant amounts of mime, and all the compliments one could ever want.

Interactive theatre can be hit or miss – especially for those with anxiety issues like myself – but A Slightly Isolated Dog creates such a positive, fun environment (and I hate to say ‘safe’ because of the connotations, but that’s what I mean) for the audience that the anxiety of the whole thing just melts away. Tonight, my theatre-going companion got to play Santa for two memorable, sassy, parts, and I had the chance to be a reindeer – and it was very, very fun.

While the games of the show haven’t exactly changed since the company’s previous pieces – there are aspects of the show that bear significant resemblance to previous shows Don Juan and Jekyll and Hyde – everything runs like clockwork and is well-practised and enjoyable. Despite some of the bizarre offers that come out from the crowd, the performers take it all in their stride. The show is chaotic, yes – a particular argumentative interlude about monopoly hits rather close to home – but it still feels controlled, and strangely relatable.

If you like your Christmas gifts to have a little more spice than nice, check out Santa Claus. It’s sexy, fun, and will leave you (possibly) dreading your Christmas time to come.

(In a good way. Somehow.)


Santa Claus is on at BATS Theatre until the 15th of December 2018. Tickets are available from BATS’ website.