ELVES have not left the building or have they?

The hunt for Santa’s elves is under way after they left the North Pole for their summer holidays but have not returned. So runs the story in Badapple Theatre’s The Elves And The Carpenter, such a hit with audiences last year that is back on the road this winter, complete with comic capers, songs, puppets and festive fun.

Presented by her Green Hammerton rural touring company, Kate Bramley’s original Christmas story is doing the rounds this month, travelling through Yorkshire, Durham and the Midlands until December 29 with its magical mixture of theatre, clowning, music, puppetry and animation.

The Elves And The Carpenter follows the adventures of Mrs Claus, who finds mischievous missing Elves hiding among the up-cycling at Mrs Carpenter’s shop. Their attempt to help complete her special Christmas order has not worked out as they had hoped, and now Mrs Claus must restore order and ensure they return to the Pole on time.

"This is our seventh year of touring a totally original family show at Christmas, which is always a good laugh for grandparents and parents, let alone the children," says Kate. "The Elves And The Carpenter is no exception, as Mrs Claus has to travel the world to clear up the mess the naughty Elves are leaving in their wake.

"This cheerful Christmas comedy is perfect for all ages – best suited for ages five to 95 – so come and enjoy a tall tale, whether you have children or grandchildren to bring or not."

Badapple is noted for taking new theatre to the most unexpected of places, on this occasion with a cast of Sarah Raine as Coco and Frances Tither as fellow elf Biscuit, co-directed by Richard Kay and Bramley. Her script is complemented by original songs and music by Jez Lowe, the Sony Award-winning singer- songwriter, who collaborated with writer Michael Morpurgo for BBC Radio 2's Alone On A Wide Wide Sea.

The Elves And The Carpenter tours Danby Wiske Village Hall, tomorrow, 7.15pm; Cholmeley Hall, Brandsby, December 20, 6.30pm; Fewston Parochial Hall, near Harrogate, December 21, 6.30pm; Preston Community Hall, near Hull, December 22, 7.30pm; Eggborough Methodist Church, near Selby, December 27, 4pm; Sutton under Whitestonecliffe Village Hall, near Thirsk, December 28, 7.30pm, and Staveley and Copgrove Village Hall, near Boroughbridge, December 29, 6.30pm. Visit badappletheatre.com for box-office details.