Christmas to come early at Storyhouse

Writer:

Paul Genty

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A Christmas Carol opens in early November – to 200 people at each performance

Storyhouse in Chester will mount its Christmas show A Christmas Carol from November 7.

The centre, which sold over 5,000 tickets in two weeks for its open-air, abridged production of The Comedy of Errors in August, will be one of relatively few venues running a Christmas show this year.

To aid social distancing, the show will play to only 200 people a night – only 40 per cent of capacity – around the theatre’s more intimate thrust stage. Despite the early opening night, the show will run until January 17.

Storyhouse artistic director Alex Clifton is writing and directing the adaptation of Dickens' story: “It’s a tale for every generation and hopefully can give us all a joyful taste of our normal lives,” he said.

Storyhouse is currently the only major theatre in the area planning a full-size Christmas show as it battles to survive the pandemic.

Autumn and winter are ominously likely to see less aid from government while theatres continue to put back their reopening dates. CEO Andrew Bentley said: “The prospect for the UK’s cultural venues is becoming worse. At the moment 70 per cent of UK theatres are still at risk of extinction beyond Christmas; the danger is they’ll be bailed out in the short term but find they have no audience left.”

Christmas show tickets go on sale to Storyhouse members on Friday, and on general sale from October 12.

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