Norwich Theatre has announced its special season of festive shows for 2020, A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS, which will see the Theatre Royal temporarily re-open to audiences during December. A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS will include three shows, Panto in a Pickle!, A Circus Carol and She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends, each alternate and play in repertoire across the season.
After 19 years at the centre of Theatre Royal Christmases delighting family audiences, Norwich’s favourite pantomime Dame, Richard Gauntlett, will return once more and star in a brand new show for the whole family that captures lots of the traditional panto fun in a madcap adventure through six of your favourite stories, Panto in a Pickle!.
Following its sell-out success at Norwich Playhouse at Christmas 2019, Norwich Theatre’s critically-acclaimed co-production with Lost in Translation Circus A Circus Carol will also be remounted specially for the Theatre Royal stage. Based on the well-known Dickens story but with a twist, Ebenezer Scrooge is shown the error of his ways by three ghosts and astounding circus artistry.
Completing the season will be another brand new show from much-loved Norfolk comedian Karl Minns, with the return of one of his favourite Nimmo Twins comedy creations, She Go, alongside some other local characters. She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends will be a festive look back at what a year 2020 has been here in our fair county of Norfolk.
Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive of Norwich Theatre, said: “Christmas is such a special and important time in the life of a theatre and I believe our audiences, for many of whom a festive trip to the theatre is a long-standing tradition, need a Christmas treat more than ever before this year. I am delighted that we’re able to produce A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS with such a fantastic programme of shows and artists that will keep that tradition alive and guarantee a fun and safe trip to the theatre.”
Richard Gauntlett said: “The postponement of ‘Dick Whittington and his Cat’ this year was a huge disappointment for all involved and this opportunity to fill the ‘Panto-void’ with a new twist is an exciting and unexpected pleasure. Be prepared for pantomime but not as we know it! – and it does mean that I can do my Christmas shopping in Norwich!”
Massimiliano Rossetti, Director of Lost in Translation Circus, said: “The amazing opportunity to partner with Norwich Theatre to bring INTERLUDE to life has been a great success. The opportunity to perform in front of live audiences was a dream and I’m very honoured that we will have the opportunity to perform again and this time on the beautiful stage of the Theatre Royal with our co-production of ‘A Circus Carol’. Together with Norwich Theatre I feel that we have been contributing to bringing the arts back to life and we need to give value and importance to creativity more than ever before. I’m very excited to be performing at Christmas, sharing smiles, amazement, joy and laughter with audiences during the festive season.”
Karl Minns said: “Having performed at INTERLUDE in the Summer, I’m thrilled and privileged to have the chance to play in front of a Norfolk audience again. It’s even more exciting to be playing at the Theatre Royal: we’ve all missed being inside theatres and this is a huge honour and a big step forward in reclaiming our beloved spaces. It’s been a tough year for everyone, so to end the year and go into Christmas with some joy and laughter is something I’m really looking forward to.”
With Norwich Theatre’s much-loved large scale annual Pantomime, this year due to be Dick Whittington & His Cat, at Theatre Royal and the planned new production of Robin Good: The Politico-Panto for Playhouse both postponed to 2021, A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS seeks to keep the much-loved tradition of family theatre attendance at Christmas-time alive and to give its loyal and dedicated audiences from across Norwich, Norfolk and beyond a good night out during the festive period.
Whilst the full-scale re-opening of Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two will not be possible until social-distancing measures are further relaxed, this short season will be planned with current guidance in mind and both the shows and the COVID-secure modifications to the Theatre Royal building have been made possible through grants and donations.
All performances will be conducted in strict adherence with social distancing rules and latest Government guidance, with seating within the Theatre Royal auditorium being specially adapted to accommodate a socially-distanced audience and the shows will all run from 60-90 minutes without an interval. Carefully designed COVID-secure queuing systems will be in place across the Theatre Royal building to guide audiences to their seats in a safe, convenient and comfortable way.
Creatively produced by Norwich Theatre, A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS is a feast of festive shows for people of all ages. It will see the Theatre Royal re-open its doors in a COVID-secure way for a short period in the run up to Christmas with three different productions alternating in a special repertory season. All shows will be produced and staged with strict adherence to social distancing guidelines and audiences will be seated in a socially-distanced way with tickets sold in bubbles, as proved successful during the INTERLUDE season at Chapelfield Gardens.
A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS is the next instalment of Norwich Theatre’s During the Interval programme, a series of truly unique and different events, programmes and interventions bridging the gap between closing its doors in March until its venues are able to properly re-open again. The series began with the re-opening of the Playhouse Bar which includes a creative conversion of the much-loved stage at the Playhouse into a relaxed new lounge area, the hugely popular INTERLUDE which saw sell-out live performances in a temporary outdoor venues across six weeks in Chapelfield Gardens and the Norwich Free Market now being held in the Theatre Royal Car Park.
A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS PROGRAMME – ON SALE TO FRIENDS OF NORWICH THEATRE FROM THURSDAY 17th SEPTEMBER & ON GENERAL SALE FROM THURSDAY 24th SEPTEMBER
Panto in a Pickle!
starring Richard Gauntlett
16-24 December various times | £10 to £13.50 & Family Ticket (x4) £50 |
60 mins (no interval) | age 3+
There has been a terrible mess-up in Panto-land. What is Cinderella doing with those magic beans? Why did Captain Hook stop Snow White going to the ball? How did Aladdin end up in an enchanted sleep?
All of your favourite Panto characters need your help to get them back to their correct stories as this really is a Panto in a Pickle!
A Circus Carol
starring Lost in Translation Circus
16-23 December various times | £10 to £17.50 & Family Ticket (x4) £65 |
70 mins (no interval) | age 10+
Charles Dickens’ timeless classic Christmas Carol is literally turned on its head in this spectacular production filled with gasps, thrills and laughs.
Combining acrobatics and truly amazing trickery with ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, this marvellously intricate reimagining captures all the thrills and spills of the original festival tale with even more spectacle.
She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends
starring Karl Minns
16-23 December various times | £10 to £21.50 | 80 mins (no interval) |
“Hi I’m She Go, Norwich’s own piece of WAP (Working At Poundland). Christmas in Norfolk is a time where we sing carols like: ‘Winterton Wonderland’ and ‘O Come, All Ye Fakenham’ and where we remember that special little baby that was born over 2000 years ago: Stewart White.
If you like that kind of thing, join me at the (socially distanced) Theatre Royal this Christmas, where I’ll look back on 2020 and ask: ‘Wass bin goon on?’. I’ll be joined by friends old and new and there’ll be songs, sketches and more.
Book today. I need the cash. Destiny had a tattoo that was meant to say ‘Country Girl’, but the bloke was dyslexic.”
A RIGHT ROYAL CHRISTMAS runs from Wed 16 – Thu 24 Dec, 2020
To book tickets visit norwichtheatre.org or call Norwich Theatre Box Office on 01603 630 000.