The days are shorter and there’s a nip in the air, which can only mean one thing – it’s time to get festive!
So, get cosy, grab yourself a mug of something warm and settle down with a seasonal tale.
A Christmas Carol by Patrick Barlow (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3m, 2f)
It wouldn’t be Christmas without A Christmas Carol. In this new stage version, Patrick Barlow takes Charles Dickens’ classic story of greed, grief, ghoulish ghosts and eleventh-hour redemption, and makes it feel brand new again.
Christmas Crackers by John Godber (UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 2f, 10m or f)
It’s Christmas time and early morning outside a hospital A&E department. Security guard Keith sees a cross-section of patients come and go, but his thoughts are with recently widowed nurse Kath. Kath finds two plane tickets to Prague in her handbag and decides to take a younger nurse, Hollie, with her on a festive getaway. Follow Keith’s fantasy of reinventing himself as an urbane university lecturer who meets Kath and Hollie in Prague and sweeps Kath off her feet, only to be brought swiftly back down to earth.
Comfort and Joy by Mike Harding (UK)
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 5m, 5f, 2m or f)
It’s Christmas. Relatives you hardly ever see and who are now very different from you arrive at your house for the festivities. No-one receives a present that is at all appropriate. Culinary disasters abound. Long-buried resentments rear their ugly heads as the alcohol flows and tongues are loosened. It’s a comedy that is painfully — yet amusingly — familiar.
Inspecting Carol by Daniel Sullivan (US/UK)
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 8m, 4f)
A man who asks to audition at a small theatre is mistaken for an informer for the National Endowment for the Arts. Everyone caters to the bewildered wannabe actor, and he is given a role in the current production, A Christmas Carol. Everything goes wrong and hilarity is piled upon hilarity.
Kidnapped at Christmas by Willis Hall (UK)
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 7m, 2f)
Crosby and Gilbert are escaped convicts who couldn’t face the thought of yet another Christmas dinner in jail. Their adventures on the run, in various disguises, dodging a host of amazing characters are all tremendous fun.
Season’s Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn (US/UK)
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 5m, 4f)
Half a dozen friends and relatives are celebrating Christmas with Neville and Belinda. Various children are also there and, though unseen, their presence is always felt. Petty squabbles break out and some not so petty. The arrival of Clive, a young writer, leads to what momentarily appears to be a tragedy. Hilarious highlights include a chaotically incompetent puppet show and a midnight love scene that sets off a fearful din among mechanical Christmas toys.
Silent Night by Colin Crowther and Mary Crowther (US/UK)
(Short Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 2f)
Based on a true event, Silent Night is the heart-warming story of an ordinary family in extraordinary times: the Blitzkrieg. A direct hit on their Anderson shelter leaves Wilf, Rose, Lily, Jack and their tortoise Harold awaiting the call to St Peter and the Pearly Gates. As the night darkens around them, old tensions and new revelations threaten to blast them apart forever. But dawn rises on a family united and resolved: wherever they go, they will stay together. St Peter, it seems, is in for a surprise – and he’s not the only one…
The Flint Street Nativity by Tim Firth (UK)
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 7m, 5f)
Mizzis Horrocks’ class of seven-year-olds is about to perform their nativity play at Flint Street Junior School for the proud mums and dads — and the occasional social worker. Squabbles arise when Gabriel wants to play Mary, the Star grumbles he’s not a proper star like they have at NASA, Herod won’t stop waving to his mum and dad, and the subversive Innkeeper is determined to liven up the traditional script. And then the stick insect escapes…
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode (US/UK)
(Full Length Play, Dark Comedy / 5m, 3f)
Eight reindeer dish the dirt about the real Santa in this “arrestingly funny” (Village Voice) alternative Christmas production. All those rumours you’ve heard about him and the elves? About Rudolph’s little secret? About Vixen’s story that was leaked to the press? All true. Yes, the reindeer finally speak up and — believe us — they do not hold back!
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Glyn Robbins (UK)
(Full Length Play, Drama / 8m, 5f)
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy embark on a magical mystery tour to the Land of Narnia through the wardrobe. There they encounter the wicked White Witch, representing the forces of evil, and the King of the Beasts, Aslan the lion, representing all that is good and right.