Theatr Clwyd has confirmed it will have a Christmas show this year - even though current Welsh pandemic restrictions prevent the theatre from opening.
The venue will instead offer a pre-recorded "immersive show", Once Upon a Christmas (December 10-31), which combines three new seasonal stories for the young commissioned from three playwrights – Robert Evans, Diana Nneka Atuona and Rebecca Wilson.
The stories are tod in the theatre in a specially-designed environment of separate rooms that can only be viewed by a single household “bubble” at a time. Since there are no live actors, viewing time slots are specific to each booking and the show is a “walk-through’ experience for each household, the "show" can continue.
Theatr Clwyd is also planning to stream The Panto That Nearly Never Was! (December 17-31) and Christmas production The Ice Witch (December 31-Jan 3); though is hoping it will be able to present the last of the trio live, rather than streaming it online.
Artistic director Tamara Harvey said: “We can’t share the festive magic the way we usually would, but we have found a way to bring music and laughter to audiences.”
The Panto That Nearly Never Was! was hastily created when the theatre was forced to cancel its original panto production, which was to have been Beauty and the Beast.
The Ice Witch is three Christmas plays by Emyr John, performed in English and Welsh.
Like many other theatres prevented from opening, Theatr Clwyd has joined the call for a relaxation of the restrictions to give theatres rules similar to those covering other public events.
Theatres have already offered a large body of evidence to show their measures have resulted in not a single confirmed transmission of the virus.
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