I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Theatre Unveils New Programme With Emphasis On Christmas Fun
Is it really too soon to be writing about what you can see at the theatre over Christmas? Well, whether it is or it isn't, Christmas shows are to form a major part of the new Autumn/Winter season which has just been announced at the Lichfield Garrick theatre in Staffordshire.
Of course, no winter season would be complete without a traditional festive pantomime, and the Lichfield Garrick has its own great tradition of staging fun, family pantos so this year is no exception. Sleeping Beauty, which stars Cbeebies favourite Rebecca Keatley as Fairy Moonbeam, will run at the theatre from December 1 to 31, and follows on from the success of last year's pantomime which was seen by more than 27,000 people.
But the Garrick, through its artistic director Tim Ford, has a lot more festive fun in store for both adults and children alike. For starters, the theatre is co-producing a brand new comedy-thriller for the first time. Described as a sort of 'anti-panto' Crimes Against Christmas, which runs from December 9-31, is aimed at adults only and is said to be ideal office Christmas parties with a difference. There will also be a Christmas stand-up special on December 15 featuring Perrier Award winner Scott Capurro as the headline act when Comedy 42 returns to the main theatre.
Crimes Against Christmas is billed as an adults only 'anti-panto'
And, with younger audiences in mind, the Lichfield Garrick is staging a magical Christmas treat for children aged between two and seven. Dear Santa, which is staged from December 13-24, is based on Rod Campbell's best-selling children's book. The performances will also be followed by the chance to meet Santa after the show.
Tim Ford said: "Christmas is our favourite time of year at the Lichfield Garrick, and we're delighted to offer the biggest ever choice of festive shows for our local audiences. We're really excited to be working with New Old Friends to produce our first 'anti-panto', Crimes Against Christmas, offering a hilarious alternative night out for grown-ups, alongside family favourites, Sleeping Beauty and Dear Santa."
Members of Ballet Black dance company (Photo Bill Cooper)
Further highlights in store during the Autumn/Winter season include music from stars such as Clare Teal and the BBC Big Band, Foster and Allen, and the stars of 1980s supergroup Bucks Fizz. In addition, Showstoppers! returns for another night of improvised musical theatre mayhem, while a great mix of tribute acts, include The Top Ten Beatles, Voice of the Heart Karen Carpenter, Into The Shadows and Let's Twist Again. And, if dance is your thing, then internationally acclaimed dance company Ballet Black make their Lichfield debut with a Triple Bill featuring Storyville, set in 1920s New Orleans.
Drama includes The Unknown Soldier, a moving portrayal of one soldier's story at the end of WW1 presented by Grist To The Mill, which forms part of the Garrick Introducing programme of new dramas. And for family audiences, Alfie White: Space Explorer brings an exciting adventure for youngsters aged five and upwards, whilst the delightful The Sorcerer's Apprentice is an enchanting tale of trainee magicians for children from the age of three.
Local chef Simon Smith cooks up some Georgian treats
The Garrick also sees an appearance by leading comedienne Jenny Eclair and, for something completely different, local chef Simon Smith presents a mouth-watering jaunt down memory lane exploring forgotten ingredients and unusual recipes from the Georgian era.
The new season brochure is available from the Box Office from Monday 5 September and online. To book your tickets call the Box Office on 01543 412121 or visit the theatre website.