“Out but not down, and now there are even more chances to catch this sell-out show for everyone stuck at home.”
Storyhouse is closing its doors as Cheshire enters Tier 3 on Boxing Day. With theatres included in the ban they have had no choice but to bring the curtain down for live audiences to its acclaimed and joyous production of A Christmas Carol.
Undaunted, the producer and charity, which has become well known for its determination to stay open for its communities during the pandemic, is now replacing its live shows with live streams. There will be two shows a day, at 3pm and 6pm, streamed live from its stage, between Boxing Day and Sunday 3 January.
Chief Executive Andrew Bentley says the company are devastated at the closure but will refuse to be bowed by events: “we nearly made it, just four days short of kicking 2020 out of the door to where it belonged. We’ve basically sold out every show until new year, so perversely this is an opportunity for the many thousands who couldn’t get a ticket to see Alex’s gorgeous and heart-warming Christmas show, but now in the comfort and safety of their own home. We took time in the November closure to rehearse filming this show, it looks and sounds beautiful, and of course it has the unique advantage of being 100% live.”
“There’s nothing like a live show at Christmas. It’s not the easiest or lowest cost option, but this way we keep true to Christmas whilst providing work for our actors and some joy for our community.”
A Christmas Carol is both written and directed by Storyhouse’s own Artistic Director Alex Clifton, who explains the impact on the acting company and other colleagues: “for the entire team here – our baristas, cinema teams, actors, library staff, stage managers – this is a stomach punch. But we count ourselves lucky to have been open for so long and made it to Christmas Day itself. Christmas wasn’t cancelled at Storyhouse and we know how fortunate we are in that – it’s made vital employment for so many freelancers, whose incomes have been hit hardest.”
“We remain hopeful: that’s our job, but it’s also the rational option. We’ll stream live from Storyhouse each day to bring joy; we’ll continue to connect people in any way we can. We’ll move our community programmes back online, and through A Christmas Carol reach out farther than we ever have before. We’ve already found new audiences in France and America thanks to our live streaming: this is a unique chance for Chester to connect internationally and proudly share our stories overseas, as well as reaching shielding and isolated communities in our own neighbourhood.”
The charity is already making its live streams available free of charge to care homes and to the vulnerable at Christmas and has provided a way of nominating individuals who are alone. Find out more about this here.
Book a live stream of A Christmas Carol here.