What makes great theatre at Christmas? by Laura Barnes


Christmas is bursting with theatre and I do not just mean the ‘he’s behind you’ sort. From the quiet looks one mum gives another as she explains that the Christmas fairies are watching, to the middle aged man squeezing into the red costume; from the carols sung in simple candlelight, to the drunken game of charades watching your usually silent aunt come to animated life over a short mime; from the feeling of brewing suspense as you get ready for the office party, to the ritualistic routine of wrapping gifts in front of a Christmas movie; from the creation of evidence that Father Christmas has ‘been’, to the preparation and presentation of the most important meal of the year…. Christmas is theatre! It is the time of year we all long for magic – even the most ‘bah-humbug’ of all of us can not help but smile when you see a child’s face as they wait to go into the grotto. Christmas gives us a reason to forget the mundane 9-5 and the predictable and to embrace the spontaneous, the unknown and the splendid.


Great theatre at this most wonderful time of year takes that longing for magic and mischief and elevates it. It is our aim with The Lost Present to create something that encourages fun in all of us – whether we are 3 or 30, a baby or a granddad, this play will be a nugget of joy for all of the family. In these early rehearsals we are finding the impishness in the ordinary and making that the focus.
So today at Gatecrash HQ we worked on the scene where Vic and Ed get all the equipment together to help them with their jobs in The Lost Present Department – the scissors, the wrapping paper, the sellotape… but the whole event very quickly becomes a dance, a routine and a song reminiscent of a carnival in sound. We can not wait to share this magic with audience members big and small, old and young in just over a week in Bath.
The Lost Present is on from December 14th to 23rd at The Rondo Theatre in Bath. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.