A theatre in Cockfosters is gearing up for its annual festive extravaganza, writes Susan Jameson
The festive period is a massively busy time at Chickenshed – our brand new musical version of A Christmas Carol will run for seven weeks, with 59 performances and 800 people in the cast!
As if that isn’t enough, we also have a show for young audiences called Christmas Tales, which performs 19 shows in our theatre and 20 at Dugdale Centre in Enfield. All this means that more than 20,000 people will see a Chickenshed show this Christmas.
So why choose to watch a Chickenshed show? For more than 40 years we’ve been showcasing our vision of social inclusion, creating beautiful theatre by bringing together children and young people from all backgrounds and abilities. We believe that by including and welcoming everyone, truly amazing things can happen. It’s been said that Chickenshed offers a glimpse of a better world, and we know that many of our most loyal audience members say that it’s not really Christmas until they’ve seen our show.
For 2018, we’ve chosen to create a brand new production based on the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol – one that perhaps invented the modern idea of ‘Christmas’. The famous story of the mean skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge coming to understand its true meaning, after visitations from four ghosts, is of course well known. Scrooge is shown scenes from his own Christmases past, present and future, but also the experiences of the Cratchits, and especially of Tiny Tim.
It is in fact (spoiler alert!) not his own miserable end foretold that changes him; rather it is being shown that Tiny Tim is no longer where he should be, at the heart of the Cratchit family. This is what moves Scrooge – this man who previously said: “Every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips should be buried with a stake of holly through his heart!”
At Chickenshed we believe in the value and importance of every individual. This is what ultimately transforms Scrooge, who gets to know and care about Tiny Tim, rather than some obscure notion of ‘the poor’ or ‘the sick’ and who then feels the tragedy of his loss so terribly. Chickenshed works to give a voice to all young people – those who might be ignored, left behind, or disregarded. And because we work to include everyone, when you see one of our shows you’ll see what society really looks like. We can guarantee a great show that will leave you feeling uplifted and inspired!
A Christmas Carol is on at Chickenshed from now until Saturday 5th January. Christmas Tales is on at Dugdale Centre from Wednesday 5th December until Sunday 30th December. For more information and to buy tickets:
Call 020 8292 9222