Storyhouse’s timely A Christmas Carol races out of the post-lockdown theatre blocks.

Chester’s Storyhouse has, for the second time, been the country’s first theatre to open post-lockdown, opening its doors at 8am on Wednesday 2nd December for community access. The company’s production of A Christmas Carol opens the same evening, having been postponed from its earlier November date.

Adapted and directed by Artistic Director Alex Clifton, it is one of a number of new productions of the Dickens classic being staged at major theatres this year, which is no surprise according to Alex “it’s a timely tale of redemption and recovery. It’s a story of a man who’s isolating – from the world, excluding the world, and then he’s brought out from isolation. That story of reunion and redemption – and recovery – is a really powerful one at this moment. We’re also delivering it with heaps of joy and banging tunes. It’s what we all need right now.

Storyhouse has been one of the UK’s most active cultural organisations since lockdown, running soup kitchens, seasons of open-air theatre and open-air cinemas, also drive-ins and a huge online programme. It’s summer production A Comedy of Errors at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre sold all 5,000 tickets in less than a week, so Chief Executive Andrew Bentley has not been surprised with the massive take-up for A Christmas Carol.

We’ve been ready to open since 7th November, Tiny Tim’s turkey is well and truly oven-ready. We held back tickets for previous Tier 3 customers which we released this week, however it’s very heavily sold throughout over 70 performances. We’re limited to 50% of capacity hence the extra shows, however we’ll be live streaming over Christmas itself to vulnerable and shielded customers as well, so there’s no reason to miss out.”

“This is first indoor production we’ve staged since March, there’s an awful lot of emotion in the room right now. We have a responsibility to our community to get up and running the second we are able, and a responsibility to our freelance and creative communities to get back to work. We can’t solve every problem in front of us, but we can start to celebrate together now. Who knows, it might even be the beginning of the end”

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