Leeds Playhouse to beam Christmas production into homes of theatre fans

The show will go on for theatre fans in Leeds this Christmas.

Friday, 18th December 2020, 11:30 am
A Christmas Carol. PIC: Anthony Robling
A Christmas Carol. PIC: Anthony Robling

Leeds Playhouse was hoping to welcome audiences into its Quarry Theatre to enjoy A Christmas Carol over the festive period but news the city will remain in tier 3 means that will not be allowed to happen.

Now Playhouse bosses plan to roll out ‘as live’ digital screenings of the family show after working with Yorkshire based company Pilot Theatre to film the production.

Their streaming service Playhouse At Home will giving audiences the chance to see exciting adaptation by Deborah McAndrew of Charles Dickens’ festive favourite in the comfort and safety of their own sofa.

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Tickets, priced from £10, are also now being made available to the wider public for five special online performances from Monday, December 21, to Wednesday, December 23.

Amy Leach, associate director at Leeds Playhouse, said: “Our vivid retelling of one of the best-loved stories in English literature was inspired by the evocative beauty and intrinsic hope of the ghost lights that continued to burn bright while theatres across the land were forced to go dark when the pandemic hit.

“Our aim now with Playhouse At Home is to share that same light and hope with people in their own homes, giving them the best seats in the house for a story infused with goodwill, festive spirit and optimism. What a way to kick off Christmas week!”

As part of our on-going commitment to supporting the Leeds Community, Leeds Playhouse is gifting a free screening of the production to closed wards of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, so patients can enjoy the on-stage magic even whilst they are in hospital over the festive period. The offer is also being extended to the Playhouse’s Burberry Inspire partner schools; residents in three local care homes; and to two day-service settings for adults with a learning disability.

Ticket holders who booked for cancelled shows will be sent the digital version for free; and the Playhouse is also honouring its commitment to bring the production to 1,000 NHS key workers and their families.

Leeds Playhouse’s artistic director James Brining said: “It feels more important than ever that we should honour our ongoing commitment to the wider Playhouse community in Leeds, the City Region, and beyond, giving our more vulnerable neighbours the chance to experience the life-enhancing joy of live theatre at Christmas in the comfort and safety of familiar surroundings,”

“This has undoubtedly been an incredibly challenging year, but with challenge comes innovation. We launched Playhouse Connect during lockdown to stay creatively engaged with more than 4,000 people across Leeds. This resulted in a collated series of dynamic online projects that we were able to successfully share with a much wider digital audience.

"We have also previously partnered with the National Theatre and Curve on lockdown screenings of Barber Shop Chronicles and My Beautiful Laundrette. Playhouse At Home is the next logical step, giving us a vital outlet for the incredible work we are continuing to produce, and audiences an essential opportunity to experience inspiring and energizing theatre at home.”

* Tickets for the five digital performances of A Christmas Carol are now available via: leedsplayhouse.org.uk Prices start at £10 and numbers are limited, are people are being advised to book early to avoid disappointment. All performances of the production include integrated British Sign Language (BSL), captioning and features creative audio description courtesy of Hear the Picture. Christmas at Leeds Playhouse is sponsored by Families Partner Caddick Group and Access Partner Irwin Mitchell.

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