BILLED as an affordable alternative to the bigger Christmas shows, Your Toys is a show like no other as the stars are the toys the audience brings with them.

Any toy can take part, there are no limits, explains Nicky Blackwell, an artistic director at Slot Machine Theatre, which created the show at Lighthouse Poole from workshops with children.

“Every single character is played by the toys our audience lend us on that day – if they bring their toys to the show and lend them to us they will see those toys in the show.”

Being at the mercy of the audience’s toy collections has resulted in some very strange additions to the show.

“We’ve had some brilliantly crazy toys – but perhaps the strangest was the plastic chainsaw; or the sparkly unicorn that was bigger than its 10-year-old owner!

“Some people can’t wait to hand over their toys, but if they prefer they can also keep their toys with them and watch the show together.

“It’s great to see how excited children get when they see their own toy come to life and as performers it’s a fantastic challenge to puppeteer different toys every time because we never know what we’re going to get. That’s why people often want to come and see it again because they realise that every show is unique.

“It’s a great alternative to panto for slightly younger children, kids with additional needs, or those who just fancy something a bit different.”

Your Toys runs from Wednesday, December 12 to Monday, December 24 in the Sherling Studio at various times. Tickets: off peak £9, peak £10. To book, call 01202 280000