News update for Christmas theatre in London

Regions across the UK were hoping to win the lottery but with the news of Tier 2 (for now) for London, here’s some Christmas theatre news 

The Donmar Warehouse announces today that it will present a special concert online to mark the festive season. LOOKING A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS will be performed in the beautiful setting of St Paul’s Church (affectionately known as The Actors’ Church), in the heart of Covent Garden and premiere online for free on the Donmar’s YouTube channel on Wednesday 16 December, 7.30pm. The concert will be captioned, and an audio introduction will be available in partnership with Vocaleyes.

This hour-long concert of musical numbers, sketches and seasonal poetry will be directed by Simon Evans (Staged, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) with musical direction by Nigel Lilley (Piaf, Caroline, or Change) and production design by Grace Smart (My Beautiful Laundrette, One Night in Miami).

The Donmar has assembled an all-star cast including Imelda Staunton (GypsyFolliesHarry Potter and the Order of Phoenix/Deathly Hallows Part 1), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey, Guys and Dolls, Shakespeare in Love), Minnie Driver (Good Will HuntingWill & Grace, Circle of Friends), Giles Terera (Hamilton, Rosmersholm, Hamlet), Rosalie Craig (CompanyCity of Angels, London Road) and Sharon Rose (Hamilton, Caroline, Or Change, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical). Further artists will be announced in the coming weeks, and there will even be a few surprise special guests joining in the merriment digitally from their own living rooms.

LOOKING A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS will stream for free on YouTube from 7.30pm 16 December, and audiences will be invited to donate if they are able to via YouTube Giving or via text message. Proceeds from the concert will directly support the Donmar’s work on and off stage. The Donmar also believes it is vital to support its local community and will therefore redistribute 15% of all donations received to the Connection at St Martin’s, which during the COVID-19 crisis has supported thousands of homeless people across London with the provision of over 21,000 hot meals, as well as accommodation, access to medical support and therapy

Full casting has been announced for Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s upcoming production of Christmas Allsorts, this year’s delightfully traditional family variety show, playing 11 December 2020 – 3 January 2021.

The cast includes Lauryn Redding (The Worst Witch, Vaudeville Theatre); Sioned Saunders (Amélie, Watermill Theatre); Tom Self (The Hired Man, Hull Truck, Oldham Coliseum & Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch); and Alex Tomkins (School of Rock, West End).

The full cast of A Christmas Carol has been announced, performances begin at the Dominion Theatre  on 7th December.

The full cast has also been announced for the musical staged concert. Joining previously announced Brian Conley, Jacqueline Jossa, Matt Jay-Willis, Lucie Jones, Sandra Marvin, Martyn Ellis, Rebecca Lock, Cedric Neal, Sam Oladeinde and Jeremy Secomb will be Simbi Akande, Will Arundell, Nicole-Lily Baisden, Lizzie Bea, Joshua Gannon, James Gant, Shirley Jameson, Kurt Kansley, Alex Lodge, Matthew McDonald, Minal Patel, Jemma Revell, Rebecca Ridout and Lee Van Geleen.

The show will also feature three teams of children on rotation. The role of Tiny Tim will be shared by William Barker, Osian Salter and Brodie Edwards, while the remaining childrens role will be shared by Victoria Alsina, Delilah Bennett-Cardy, Asanda Abbie Masike, Charlie Mclellan, Nicholas Parris, Gabriel Payne, Angelica-Pearl Scott, Sasha Watson-Lobo and Katherine Wilson.

We Need A Little Christmas is another festive musical concert featuring an all-star cast, and this one will be streamed online from 20th December to 1st January. The piece is directed and staged by Michael Strassen, with musical direction by George Carter and production design by Andrew Exeter. Paul Nicholas Dyke is associate director.

Set to be recorded at the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden, the piece is set to star Maureen Lipman, Courtney Act, Christine Allado, Simon Callow, David Bedella, Kevin Clifton, Brenda Edwards, Sheila Ferguson, Amy Hart, Dom Hartley-Harris, Sophie Isaacs, Cassidy Janson, Lydia Lucy, Lee Mead, Peter Polycarpou, Jodie Prenger, Sharon Rose, Sally Ann Triplett and The Vivienne, along with Brian Conley and the cast of A Christmas Carol – The Musical (which is set to run at the Dominion from next month) as well as the West End Gospel Choir.


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