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Just like buses, two world premieres come along at once
You can wait years for a world premiere and then two come along at once! Such are the festive treats awaiting theatre-goers to the Lichfield Garrick in Staffordshire following the unveiling of its Christmas 2019 programme. The Garrick is to stage two new productions this Christmas alongside the theatre's traditional, and much-loved, pantomime, which this year is Cinderella. Both of the new productions have been specially commissioned for Lichfield Garrick's newly refurbished studio theatre, and will be given their world premieres during December in the run-up to the big day. But there the similarity ends, with an alternative festive comedy, Christmas Carol Casebook: Away in a Danger, aimed primarily at adults, and Charlie and the Christmas Cat being targeted at children aged 2-7 to give them a fun-filled introduction to live theatre.
Alternative festive fun with Christmas Carol Casebook: Away in a Danger
In order to accommodate both productions in the studio theatre at the same time, Christmas Carol Casebook: Away in a Danger will be staged at 7.30pm, with mainly weekend matinees at 3.45pm, while Charlie and the Christmas Cat can be seen at various times throughout the day, with some performances even starting at 9.30am for any early risers! Christmas Carol Casebook: Away in a Danger, which opens on Thursday 5 December and runs until Saturday 4 January 2020, has been written by Craig Stephens and Jack Trow. Following a tragedy at rehearsals, choirmaster Barry is accused of a murder he did not commit. With the police already in hot pursuit, will Barry prove his innocence, and will the carol concert go ahead? This festive farce, deemed suitable for ages 14 plus, features murder, mayhem and more puns than you can wave a conductor's baton at! It stars Birmingham-based James Steventon (BBC's Doctors, The 39 Steps) as Barry, with the cast also including Lichfield's Lucy Pearson (BBC's Father Brown, Shakespeare and Hathaway, and Doctors) as Beth.
Charlie and the Christmas Cat offers fun to 2-7 year olds
Charlie and the Christmas Cat, which opens on Friday 6 December and runs until Christmas Eve, is written by Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis. The story takes place on Christmas Eve, the one night of the year where animals can talk. Join Charlie and her loveable cat Ziggy on a magical evening full of surprises with lots of interaction for young ones. Lichfield Garrick chief executive Karen Foster said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be able to bring to the stage two new commissions this Christmas, providing a fantastic choice of shows for our audiences who will get to see them for the very first time. Following their run at the theatre, our ambition is to develop a new touring strand for Lichfield Garrick taking both productions out to other venues across the country for Christmas 2020." As well as the two new studio commissions the Garrick's Christmas season commences on its main stage with the opening of Cinderella (28 Nov-5 Jan) starring CBeebies' Rebecca Keatley as The Fairy Godmother. The theatre also offers audiences a festive film screening of The Royal Ballet's glorious production of the all-time ballet favourite The Nutcracker on December 18.
The Lichfield Garrick is to host two world premieres