An animated Christmas from Northumberland

Published: 4 December 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Christmas with the Hobbs
Viktoria Kay, Lewis Jobson, Joseph Casling, Jacqueline Phillips, Carole Wears and Jude Nelson Credit: Jonathan Bradley

Three Northumberland venues—Alnwick Playhouse, Maltings Berwick and Queen’s Hall Arts Hexham—and CaroleW Productions from Tyneside are combining to produce an animated Christmas show, Christmas with the Hobs, written by Gateshead-based Becci Sharrock and animated by Sheila Graber from South Shields. Original music is by North East singer-songwriter Bridie Jackson and the characters are voiced by Joseph Casling, Jude Nelson, Lewis Jobson, Viktoria Kay and Jacqueline Phillips, who will also direct.

It’s Christmas Eve at Nana’s house and Tyler and Eliza are waiting for Dad to pick them up to start the celebrations. But when plans change, they must work together to create a Christmas to remember, with the help of their newfound friends, the Hobs! They are about to discover what really makes Christmas special, with mishaps and mayhem along the way.

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Alnwick Playhouse and Berwick Maltings to create a wonderful new animation for Christmas,” said Katy Taylor, Queen’s Hall Arts Artistic Director. “This is the first time we’ve commissioned an animation and we are so lucky to be working with a fantastically talented team of artists and performers. All three venues in Northumberland were successful in our applications for emergency funding from Arts Council England last month and this has enabled us to try something new and make something truly magical for our audiences this Christmas.

“We know that freelance performers, technicians and artists have really struggled while venues have been closed, and many people have been unable to access government financial support so it’s vital that we do our bit to help. Christmas with the Hobs gave us an opportunity to bring together North East arts professionals to create a magical Christmas gift from Northumberland. We hope you enjoy it!”

Christmas with the Hobs will be streamed online 12–31 December for audiences at home and in schools, hospitals and care homes. Tickets are free but must be booked via one of the three Northumberland venues’ web sites:

Donations to support future commissions and creative projects in Northumberland are welcome.