Christmas is crackers

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It’s Christmas! We’re already two packs of mince pies down. Preparations are well underway for all our festive projects and we’re super excited about every single one of them, Julia has been jumping up and down screaming Santa is Coming! for about three months now.

We’ve been bowled over by the reaction to our Hidden Christmas Market with dates  selling out quickly. We decided there was a gap in the Christmas market market ( sorry couldn’t resist) for a festive event where people can shop, drink cocktails and soak up the atmosphere while being entertained by some slightly bonkers acts – with over 70k followers on Facebook it looks like we were right.

The market will have a Narnia theme with it’s own magical hidden entrance and a bar serving Turkish Delight cocktails.  Our team have been busy  sourcing some great stalls selling cool wares as well as building sets and pulling together a whole two hours of pop up performances. We’ve got dancers, live music, drummer girls and a walking, talking tree because who doesn’t need a talking tree at a Christmas market?

Leeds Hidden Christmas market will be at Kirkstall Abbey from the 16th – 22nd December with slots running daytime and evening (evenings adults only). There are a few tickets still remaining.

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Our theatrical director Kat has been on tour with Northern Broadsides in When We Are Married. When she’s not hobbling about stage as Ruby the maid she’s been writing and casting our alternative to the Christmas Grotto at Leeds Town Hall which this year has a Wind In The Willows theme. The Story Trees has been created with very young children in mind (we have some and we know how they work!)  and The Whispering Trees is for older children.  It’s a chance to meet Ratty, Badger, Mole and Toad and join Santa for a storytelling session away from the crowds with no queues, no presents, just lots of fun.

In the evening we’re shaking things up a bit. We love doing our Sing A Long Elf screenings and wanted to recreate the screwball atmosphere of Elf with a show for  grown ups who love Christmas just as much as we do. A Twisted Christmas is a chance to meet the dippy decorations stored in the basement and help them onto the Christmas Tree, there’s a big fat bauble who thinks he’s the star of the show, a Nutcracker Guard obsessed with tradition, a handmade hipster decoration whose sparkly bits keep falling off and of course a unicorn. We are genuinely considering shoe-horning a Unicorn in to every single event we do from now on.  Maybe not Halloween.

Shows run from the 17th – 23rd December, if you haven’t been to the woods under the Town Hall they are worth checking out, tickets for all shows are limited and we sold out pretty early last year.

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OK market; Santa; fun new show; is that it? Of course not. We’ve also been involved behind the scenes at Tong Garden Centre, they really pull out all the stops with their Christmas grotto and this year they’ve gone one better – they asked us to help script and produce the experience. Visiting Santa with children can be an expensive business so make sure you go somewhere that looks great and isn’t all over in five minutes.

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