MONDAY 21 DECEMBER 2020 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
A couple of years ago we decided that - because loads of shows that we tipped in the latter part of the year are still running throughout December, and some even into January - we should give you a reminder, in our last communication of the year, as to what those are.

Some of the events fall into the category of "Christmas show", while others might appeal to those of you not that interested in Christmas, but still looking for stuff to do over the holiday.

We weren't able to add those shows to the official festive tips in our pre-Christmas bulletin of course, because they had already been tipped and you only get tipped once, that's the rule!

However, with many people looking for extra things to do over the Christmas period, we decided to do a quick round up of those previously tipped shows that still feel relevant as the festive period gets fully underway.

It seems more important than ever to do that this year, when options for entertainment - or even getting out of the house - will feel limited. So, here we go. Let's start with some Christmassy family-friendly fare to keep the whole household engaged together.

There's 'Christmas Is Ruined' from The Cockpit, which was supposed to be a socially distanced event, but will now be available online. You've just got time to tune into The Space's 'The Saving Of Santa' and Theatre503 panto 'The Fairytale Revolution', both of which are on until 23 Dec.

And speaking of panto, don't forget Sleeping Trees' 'The Legend Of Moby Dick Whittington' - and 'Snow White In The Seven Months Of Lockdown' from Charles Court Opera via The King's Head Theatre - both available until the end of the month. Finally, there's Polka Theatre's short puppet-y film of 'A Christmas Carol' (pictured), online until 27 Dec, and Tea Break Theatre's 'Sleeping Beauty', which ends on 30 Dec.

Onto some less directly festive stuff, and if you're fond of interactive / immersive / experiential things then we have a trio of choices for you: there's Silvia Mercuriali's 'Swimming Home', which is on until mid January; 'Play Inside: Other Mothers' from Splash & Ripple and WeRebel, which we covered in a recent Q&A; and 'The Mermaids Tongue', which also featured in a Caro Meets interview earlier this year, on well into the spring.

If you are looking for some good quality theatre to take in over the holiday, a fair number of past tipped shows are still available to you: there's Dael Orlandersmith's 'Until The Flood', via the Traverse Online Festival; Theatre Nation's 'Zoo Motel' by Thaddeus Phillips, which you can book into until the end of January, 'The Haunting Of Alice Bowles' from Original Theatre Online, available until 28 Feb, and 'My Beautiful Launderette' from Leicester's Curve Theatre, which I think will be around until venues open properly.

Meanwhile, the final instalment from the Hope Theatre's previously tipped 'Hope At Home' strand, '21 Round For Christmas' becomes available this week. There's also Caroline Horton's 'All Of Me', via audio or Twine, and Kali Theatre's complete Autumn Solos season. And New Old Friends continue to release their 'Crimes Against Christmas' audio instalments until 24 Dec.

Finally, just two last things, and we are going out with some festive music to warm your hearts. There's the 'Follow The Stars' Macmillan Carol Concert available until the end of the month, and Electric Voice Theatre's lovely musical advent calendar, which you can access here.

And with those at-home options re-tipped, we now present our newest Three To Stream recommendations for Christmas and New Year.

Merry Christmas! See you in 2021.


MATT BORGATTI: THE BALLAD OF RUDY
When I heard that Goblin was bringing its children's show 'The Ballad Of Rudy' to London's The Crazy Coqs at Brassiere Zedel, I immediately thought that would be a great experience for families - a lovely show in a fabulous venue. But, of course, the introduction of tier three - and then tier four - COVID restrictions in London stopped that.

However, the good news is that the show is still going ahead for online viewing. You can either tune in for a livestream of the show on 27 Dec or watch it on demand for a short period following the broadcast.

Which means it will be available for online consumption during that 'in between period' after Christmas but before New Year, when interesting distractions are often welcome.

I spoke to Goblin's Matt Borgatti to find out more about the show, and the company, and staging a show during the pandemic.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Ballad Of Rudy' will live stream on 27 Dec at 3.00pm, and will also be available to view on demand for 48 hours after the event has ended. See this page here to book.
With COVID rules ramped up again in London and around much of the country, this week we are tipping the best in digital culture from across the UK - including online shows from performers and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


THREE PANTOMIMES>>

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.


THREE SEASONALLY THEMED ONLINE THINGS>>

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.


THREE MORE THEATRICAL ONLINE THINGS>>

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.


THREE MUSICAL THINGS>>

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.


THREE NEW YEAR'S EVE COMEDY SHOWS>>

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.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in culture.

ThisWeek London is your guide to culture in London.

ThreeWeeks Edinburgh is your guide to Edinburgh's festivals.



© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send Edinburgh press releases to [email protected]

Send London press releases to [email protected]

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here

[email protected] | [email protected]