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Have yourself an alternative Christmas at Live Theatre

Fed up of Panto? Want an alternative grown-up Christmas night out? Kids getting too old for the usual shows? Live Theatre, has not one, but two alternative options this year with Christmas Crackers, four new short plays taking an alternative look at Christmas, and the return of music themed quiz sketch show Mixtape Xmas.

Christmas Crackers

A Live Theatre Production 
Written by Olivia Hannah, Henry Lawrence, Jamie Morren and Tamsin Daisy Rees
Directed by Joe Douglas & Graeme Thompson
Designed by Anna Robinson
Original Music by Beth Brennan
Ensemble Cast Sarah Balfour, Micky Cochrane, Dale Jewitt, Katie Powell and Daniel Watson

A city at Christmas. A time of happiness and joy. But look a little closer behind the advent calendar door and there is a world of festive stories untold. Expect laughter, turkey, tears and sarcasm.

Christmas Crackers at Live Theatre between Thursday 13 and Saturday 22 December takes a funny and alternative look at the festive period.  

Four tales of Christmas look at what happens when a drunken Santa gate-crashes a Christmas get-together, when the festive TV schedule takes over your life, the secret lives of three siblings are unwrapped, and when all that stands between one family and Christmas heart break is a pigeon in a chip box.

The four plays are written by Olivia Hannah, Henry Lawrence, Jamie Morren and Tamsin Daisy Rees, who were selected as Live Theatre’s Associate Artists in 2018 to follow the same development process as Nina Berry, whose Christmas play The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes was a sell-out success at Live Theatre in 2016 and 2017.

The plays are directed by Live Theatre’s Artistic Director, Joe Douglas, and Creative Producer, Graeme Thompson.

Graeme Thompson, Creative Producer, Live Theatre said

“We are delighted to present these four tales of Christmas present from this year’s Associate Artists who are following the same development process that Nina Berry did two years ago which led to her hit Christmas show The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes.”

Joe Douglas, Artistic Director, said

“I am directing two of these four plays written by our Associate Artists, some of the most talented young writers in the county. It’s my second project at Live Theatre, after the success of Clear White Light, and I look forward to welcoming audiences to a fun, festive night out.”

Christmas Crackers is performed by an ensemble cast including Micky Cochrane last seen at Live Theatre in Rat Boy, Dale Jewitt who recently performed in Clear White Light, Katie Powell, who is part of girls sketch group Your Aunt Fanny, Daniel Watson who starred in 2017’s The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes, and Sarah Balfour making her debut at Live Theatre.

In Clementines by Tamsin Daisy Rees three siblings are home alone, attempting to leave the house for the school Christmas show which is about to start. Growing up isn’t easy and they aren’t prepared for the messy chats and unveiled surprises.

Grounded by Henry Lawrence follows Eddie, sat in the rain at midnight, after a big Christmas family bust-up, he has a surprise in a chip box – an unusual Christmas gift.

Home for Christmas by Olivia Hannah is a classic story of drunk Santa coming in the front door and crashing your Christmas party. A ghost from the past, catfishing and acts of kindness helps reveal their secret Santa.

In Marbles by Jamie Morren, Uncle Pat’s round for Christmas dinner, buying presents, reminiscing about the good ol’ days of Christmas past. Or at least his version of Christmas past. But something isn’t right – and Die Hard is on the telly.

Four plays by four writers celebrating this special time of year. The perfect Christmas boxset. 

Christmas Crackers is at Live Theatre between Thursday 13 and Saturday 22 December with tickets which are between £10 and £14, and concessions from £6.

Mixtape Xmas

Mixtape Xmas is part comedy sketch show and part music quiz, and one of the funniest concepts around. The infamous sell out Christmas show features a mash up of Mixtape favourites from throughout the eras, as well as a stocking load of sketches inspired by classic Christmas tunes. Play in quiz teams to be in with the chance of winning one of the highly coveted Golden Mixtapes. It's the perfect night out for a Christmas party! Mixtape Xmas is at Live Theatre at 8pm from Wednesday 5 to Saturday 8 December. Tickets £12, £9 concs.

For tickets and information call Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232 or 

Find out more
  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National Lottery Fund
  • National Lottery Fund
  • National Lottery Fund