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Three To Stream for Christmas and New Year 22 Dec-4 Jan: Pantomimes, Seasonal Things, Theatrical Things, Musical Things, New Year’s Eve Comedy

By | Published on Friday 18 December 2020


Rapunzel | OSO Arts Centre
So, London’s now in tier four, but Christmas is still happening so let’s try and find some lovely online shows to bring some of that seasonal cheer into your homes. We’re starting with a pantomime that I wanted to recommend a while back but couldn’t, because by the time I came to write a tip about it the live socially distanced shows were all sold out. That was sad. It’s even sadder that so many of those sold out shows had to be cancelled. But the good news is that OSO are putting the show online and you can view it by heading right this way and buying a ticket.

Dick Whittington | National Theatre Online | 23-27 Dec
Another casualty of increased COVID restrictions in the capital is the National Theatre’s staging of ‘Dick Whittington’ by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd, described as a “hilarious and heartfelt new version of the classic tale packed with the cheekiest of jokes, the chattiest of animals, the awesomest of songs and the messiest of silliness”. The pantomime will hopefully be on stage again in January, but in the meantime – in honour of all the theatres forced to cancel their pantos – a recording of the show will be available from 23-27 Dec via the National Theatre YouTube channel here.

Rapunzel | Traverse Online Festival | 23 Dec (pictured)
Yes, another ‘Rapunzel’. Well, as OSO point out in their publicity, it is the “original isolation story”. This version, from the Traverse Theatre’s ongoing and marvellous online festival, was created by a team of seven – Apphia Campbell, Johnny McKnight, Uma Nada-Rajah, Morna Pearson, Stef Smith, Meghan Tyler and Anita Vettesse – and was filmed in the surrounds of Stirling Castle. “A chance to hear from every character in this well-known hairy tale, untangled and re-braided for this day and age. A chance to sit with the family and finally piece together the story of one lassie and her journey from isolation to taking her rightful place at the…. Hey come on, I’m not going to give away the ending now, am I?” Click here.


A Christmas Carol | Watermill Theatre | 18 Dec-3 Jan (pictured)
“It’s Christmas Eve, and whilst London is alive with festive cheer and seasonal goodwill, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge grows meaner by the minute. A heartless money lender, who cares more about counting his coins than for his fellow man, Scrooge despises Christmas and everything to do with it. But will a timely visit from the haunting ghosts of Christmas past, present and future change his wicked ways before it’s too late?” Yeah, you all know the story, and you all know we can’t resist recommending any retelling of it. A theatrical rendition of the essential (yes, essential) Christmas classic from Newbury’s Watermill Theatre, available until 3 Jan on demand. For more information see this page here, scroll right to the bottom to arrange to view.

The Theatre Channel – Holiday Special Episode | 23 Dec
We told you earlier in the year about The Theatre Channel, who had plans for a number of online accessible shows packed with performances of West End musical tunes, and recommended you check out the first one. There are now a number of shows you can access there, but we are mentioning this now because of the Christmas special that will be released on 23 Dec, which you can expect to feature renditions of songs from ‘Holiday Inn’ and ‘White Christmas’ as well as other well known musicals. For more information and to access the show, see this page here.

The Place’s Christmas Stocking | 21 Dec-6 Jan
Yes, I know what you are thinking – this is a show about the contents of a Christmas stocking. Well, you are wrong. What this is, in fact, is a virtual stocking filled with a mixture of lovely movement based activities for families, including a workshop inspired by Protein Dance’s acclaimed show ‘The Little Prince’, A ‘Snow Day Dancing’ workshop, and a K-Pop dance class. Book once, and you can access all the activities until 6 Jan, and tickets are priced on a pay-what-you-can basis. See this page here for more info and to book yourself in.


December | Old Red Lion Theatre | 20 Dec-5 Jan (pictured)
Ha ha, you may not have thought it on the basis of the title, but guess what? I have sneaked in another Scroogy show! Though, admittedly, this is a very different spin on it, its main focus being one of ‘A Christmas Carol’s other important characters, the long suffering clerk Bob Cratchit: “A bitterly cold winter in London Town, and as it turns out, Ebenezer Scrooge wasn’t the only person to be visited by spirits one bleak and haunted Christmas Eve. In a thrilling new play, the classic Dickens character of Cratchit is taken on a time-bending journey through Christmas future”. Profits go to charity and tickets are various prices, as you are asked to pay a different amount depending on how many people will be watching. Click here.

A Gambler’s Guide To Dying | Traverse Online Festival | 17 Dec-27 Jan
“What are the odds of living an extraordinary life? This is the story of one boy’s granddad who won a fortune betting on the 1966 football World Cup and, when diagnosed with cancer, gambled it all on living to see the year 2000. An intergenerational tale of what we live for and what we leave behind”. Back to the previously mentioned Traverse Online Festival for this Fringe First winning piece, written and performed by Gary McNair, and first staged at the venue during the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe. See it here.

My Own Private Audio | Feral
Well, I have put this under ‘theatrical’ but it’s not strictly just theatrical, I suppose, as it consists of theatre, performance, spoken word and sound art. An audio experience put together by Glasgow-based arts producing house Feral, it features contributions from Katy Dye, Leyla Josephine, Alicia Matthews, Mac McGregor, Peter McMaster, David A Pollock, Gudrun Soley Sigurdardottir and Paula Varjack. It’s a playlist of eight audio installations designed to be experienced at home by listeners during specific moments in their day, and promises to be meditative, poetic, irreverent, surreal and other-worldly. See this page here for info and links to each work, or find them here on Soundcloud.


Sunset Boulevard In Concert | Curve Theatre | 22 Dec-9 Jan (pictured)
“Set over a turbulent New Year’s Eve in 1940s Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard is a compelling story of romance and obsession”. Leicester’s Curve Theatre revisit their award-winning 2017/18 production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’, a streamed recording of which you can access this month (and next) from home. The cast is led by Ria Jones as Norma Desmond and Danny Mac as Joe Gillis, and the show is accompanied by a sixteen piece orchestra, so that’s all adding up to a great experience for all you musical lovers out there. For more information and to buy a ticket for your household, see the venue website here.

The Sam Every Big Band Christmas Special | Applecart Arts | 22 Dec
So, we’ve had something for the musical lovers, what about the jazz fans, eh? Don’t they matter too? Well, yes, they do, which is why we’re talking about this rather good sounding streaming concert featuring the Sam Every Big Band plus guest vocalists Meg Bird and Luca Manning. “Expect a night of classic swing music, groovy soul and funky pop played by some of the top young musicians in the country. A musical festive feast to whet your Yuletide appetite this Christmas!” For more information on those involved, and to book yourself a ticket, see this page here.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland | Chickenshed | from 21 Dec
And another one for the musical fans, and fans of nice shows for the festive period in general. Chickenshed Theatre, like a number of London venues, have recently had to cancel their December performances, but they have provided an alternative way to enjoy their output, reviving their 2005 Christmas show ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’ for you to watch at home. You can see it via the venue’s YouTube channel from 7pm on 21 Dec, and it will be available until the end of January. “Join the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar, the Mock Turtle, the mysterious Cheshire Cat, and the evil Queen Of Hearts in this magical, tuneful – and rather silly, yet entertaining – musical for all the family”. See this page here for more.


The Thursday Show | Free Fringe Festival Online | 31 Dec
Oh, I know. It’s going to be New Year’s Eve and you want to be at a big party, drinking too much and kissing everyone at midnight. And I know that it might feel like, well what is the point in anything any more…? If we can’t get drunk and snog people? But we have to keep our chins up, and laugh, and maybe drink too, if you’re into that, so I think the best way to bring in the New Year this time is with as many people as you’re allowed, and you can extend that by letting some fun comedy types ‘in’ via online means to help celebrate. And I am starting with the Free Fringe Festival Online’s weekly Thursday show via Twitch, which features talk, comedy, news and guests. See this page here at 8.00pm.

Just The Tonic Comedy Club – Working From Home: Good Riddance 2020 – New Year’s Eve Special | 31 Dec (pictured)
“It’s New Year’s Eve 2020… and never have we looked forward to the end of a year so much. At Just The Tonic we are sticking our fingers up at the year and joyfully heading into 2021, with hope and mirth. Join us as we bring a host of comedians to your tele / phone / tablet or whatever”. It looks like an extremely long line up of comedians are involved here – Romesh Ranganathan, Al Murray, Spencer Jones, Matt Forde and more – and it sounds as though they will be keeping you company into the early hours, one way or another. See this page here to book yourself in.

WiFi Wars | 31 Dec
If you haven’t heard of it previously, ‘WiFi Wars’ is a live comedy game show that you can play along with, hosted by comedian/gamester Steve McNeil, which has, of course, in the past been performed live and in person. This is a special New Year online edition via Twitch that will be raising money for the Miscarriage Association and Alzheimer’s Society, and will feature loads of special guests including Jon Richardson, Rachel Parris, Alice Fraser, Sam Pamphilon, Scroobius Pip, Marcus Brigstocke, Glenn Moore, and Alastair Green. For more information on the show, and to watch, see this page here.

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