In Ystradgynlais’ wonderful theatre, the Welfare, an audience of small yet discerning young children sit on benches, inches away from the action, as performers extraordinaire Flossy & Boo transport them to a wonderful winter adventureland. The multi-rolling Laura Jeffs and Seren Vickers – the latter acting as a substitute Flossy while regular performer Anja Conti is on maternity leave – weave a spell over an audience eager to participate in the frozen fun.
Our main two characters, Wild and Moth, take off from Sneezegard to save their town from a forever winter. Parallels to a certain Disney megahit are quickly forgotten as Flossy & Boo transform into a Welsh hare, an Irish musk ox and a rather dashing wolf. There’s also a bit more jeopardy in this storyline than last year’s The Girl Who Couldn’t Pretend – but Vickers and Jeffs are so good at reassuring and involving the young onlookers, even ones so young they’re tottering about, dummy in mouth – that the sense of fun’s never lost.
With characters this memorable, and songs so catchy that we’re all singing along by the second chorus, Beyond The Blizzard is a show that’s a joy to be part of. And the audience really are part of the performance: howling as both a wolf pack and the North Wind, chiming as bells and dancing in a snowstorm. But what makes Flossy & Boo’s performances so enchanting is their ability to create, so theatrically and so effortlessly, personalities and props out of everyday items. Bringing fantasy to the familiar and comedy to the commonplace is an inspiration to young minds and a joy for all to behold.
Flossy & Boo: Beyond The Blizzard, The Welfare, Ystradgynlais, Sun 26 Nov
words JOHN-PAUL DAVIES