Activities Art Music

5 reasons to go see All Wrapped Up by Oily Cart

All Wrapped Up is a new highly creative, multi sensory show brought to us by Oily Cart and the perfect way to introduce young Londoners to the world of theatre this festive season and here are our top 5 reasons to go and see it with your kids.

It’s all about wrapping paper

Image by Suzi Corker

Oily Cart have brought us a highly imaginative show that is entirely inspired by gift wrapping. You know that old saying that no matter what you buy little kids they are happier with the cardboard box and the wrapping paper. Under 5’s are taken on a magical adventure around and within the colourful paper with which we dress our presents. There’s popping bubble wrap, sticky sellotape and plenty of cardboard boxes to keep little people and their adults entertained.

Fun all around (before, during and after the show)

The fun begins half an hour before the show with Aya Nakamura, the main performer, greeting us with a bundle of presents. She’s curiously trying to guess what’s inside and invites our little Londoners to get involved in this guessing game too. Before long, some of the children are building cardboard gift towers and knocking them down again, whilst others are exploring various materials they have found inside; scrunching them up and giggling in delight at the noise the paper makes. As we enter the auditorium through a black tunnel filled with bits of torn and crumpled paper it almost feels like we are leaving this world and starting a journey to another enchanting planet. We are seated on the floor and are fully immersed in the action. We get involved and throw a beam of light that has been bubble wrapped, we create a sticky tape and gold shiny paper art installation and we bop along with our shadows. There are torches to illuminate and mirror boxes to touch, there’s UV lights and glowing sound reactive boxes which interpret light as sound. It is all completely mesmerising and so much fun (and not only for the children!). 

Creative, Imaginative and Magic

Image by Suzi Corker

There are no words or storytelling which makes this a perfect show for all ages. Children can use their imagination to create their own narrative to go with the scenes. When the different colour dots of light appeared my son stated he could see a ‘blue fairy’ whilst a neighbouring 2 year old mentioned it was an ‘evil monster’ both great interpretations of the same blob of light. The magic also comes from the brilliant soundtrack, the cohesive ethereal sound that brings the whole process beautifully together and the extraordinary skill and versatility of the actors who say so much without uttering one word.

Inclusive environment

Image by Suzi Corker

Oily Cart aims to reimagine theatre for young audiences to make it more inclusive and All Wrapped Up is a perfect example of sensory theatre that can be enjoyed by children who are very young and those with complex needs; including those with profound and multiple disabilities. It is a gentle but very effective show that can be enjoyed by those on the autistic spectrum as well as children who are deafblind and multi-sensory impaired.


Image by Suzi Corker

The Four Tet style music is ambient and atmospheric as it works together with the lights and the movement of the actors to create something that is magical and uplifting. Our three year old was mesmerised throughout and enjoyed getting involved in the action, touching the materials, exploring his own shadow and giggling in delight as he shone torches into musical boxes. This aptly named show wrapped up our Christmas Eve and left us bewildered and enchanted just in time for Christmas but you can enjoy it at two different venues until mid January.

Oily Cart’s All Wrapped Up is on at Arts Depot until 31st of December and tickets are from £9 but book quickly here as they have limited availability.
All Wrapped Up is coming to Stratford Circus Arts Centre on the 17th & 18th of January and tickets are £10 per person. More info and booking here.