5 Plays of Christmas from Live

Published: 10 December 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

5 Plays of Christmas
Brian Lonsdale in The End of Term Show
Eilish Stout-Cairns, David Raynor and William Wyn Davies in Those Yet to Come
James Gladdon and Jessica Johnson in Skeletons in Cullercoats
Chris Connel in The Whale Washed up on Christmas Eve
Cleo Sylvestre in My Door

Newcastle’s Live Theatre presents five new short and alternative festive plays online as part of its Live Wired response to the closure of theatres forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All five playwrights commissioned to write a festive short with a difference recently featured in the successful 10 Minutes To...Call Home season. All five plays were developed, rehearsed, performed and filmed behind closed doors for sharing across digital platforms.

The End Of Term Show, written by Olu Alakija, is a calamitous Christmas comedy directed by Live Theatre's Creative Producer Graeme Thompson and performed by Brian Lonsdale. Memories of a 1980s festive disaster come flooding back for Maxwell Martins—will he always be known as the boy that killed Christmas in the school nativity?

Written by storyteller Mandi Chivasa, My Door is a heartwarming tale that sees Agnes all alone remembering her younger days and sunny Decembers and thinking what her perfect Christmas gift could be. Directed by Maria Crocker and performed by Cleo Sylvestre, who was the first black actress to perform at the National Theatre.

Those Yet To Come by Ellen McNally, is a sharp and witty take on a Christmas classic. After the worst day, Eva misses her bus, leading to an unexpected meeting with some Christmas ghosts. Becky Morris, Creative Associate at Live Theatre, directs performers David Raynor, Eilish Stout-Cairns and William Wyn Davies.

Can the Metro journey home heal a family rift or will this Christmas Eve be the end of the line for Joe and Danny in Skeletons In Cullercoats by Newcastle actor and writer Benjamin Storey? Graeme Thompson directs James Gladdon and Jessica Johnson.

Winner of a Northern Writers Award and Live Theatre's Introduction to Playwriting Course alumna Sarah Tarbit takes us on an unusual but poetic journey of a broken man in The Whale Washed Up On Christmas Eve. Chris Connel is Frank, more beast than man, reliving shattering memories of heartache. Directed by actor, writer and director Tracy Gillman.

“We are all looking at a different type of Christmas this year but Live Theatre is still able to offer the alternative festive theatre experience we have become known for,” said Graeme Thompson, Live Theatre's Creative Producer. “5 Plays of Christmas is a fantastic collection of five very different festive plays. It's great to be able to work with these writers again this year and continue to present Live Theatre's new plays digitally. All five are a perfectly packaged Christmas treat and I am very excited to be able to share them, free to access, online.”

You can watch 5 Plays of Christmas free of charge on the Live Theatre web site.