FATHER Christmas and friends will be bringing magic and music to Salisbury Playhouse next week, as The Night Before Christmas returns to the stage.

Based on the Victorian poem by Clement Clarke Moore, The Night Before Christmas tells the tale of one family in the lead up to Christmas, as they excitedly await for Father Christmas to arrive with gifts.

The musical adaptation of the poem by composer Glyn Kerslake and director Gareth Machin was originally brought to life in Salisbury in 2016, and it will be returning to the theatre this month “by popular demand”, with the return of Adrian Grove as Father Christmas.

Additionally Kerslake will repeat his 2016 role of both musical director and musician in the production.

READ: Wiltshire Creative releases Christmas show schedule​ >>>

Gareth wanted the production to have “a simpler kind of storytelling” to appeal to a children audience, and during rehearsals he said: “Really it’s a dramatisation of the poem by Clement Clarke Moore, which is a classic in Victorian children’s literature, and we’ve imagined a story around the poem, so you get to hear quite a lot of the poem but also there’s another story that’s built on top of it.

“The show is about young children’s anticipation and excitement of the arrival of Father Christmas - ‘Is he going to come?’, ‘What is he going to bring when he comes?’, ‘Will I be able to see him?’ - and the excitement of waking up Christmas morning and seeing if he’s been and what he’s left."

The cast of four have been rehearsing and preparing for opening night the past two weeks, including Grove, Kerslake, and introducing newbies to the production, Katherine Potter (EM, Grand Hotel and The Crucible, all for the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) as Martha, and Lara Stubbs (Hecuba, RSC) as the mother.

Gareth promises the show to be “lovely and intimate”, adding: “Father Christmas appears and has lots of interaction with the audience which children will love, there’s a lot of music and visual magic, a lot of audience participation, and it’s all under an hour.”

The Night Before Christmas will run from Monday, December 10 until Sunday, December 30, in the The Salberg (Salisbury Playhouse).

An activity pack is also available to download to accompany the show.

For more information and to book tickets (£10) call 01722 320333 or visit the Wiltshire Creative website.

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