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‘We need the escapism of entertainment more & more’: All I Want for Christmas Is Theatre / Hopeful Holidays (Online review)

A double whammy of festive musical frolics for the festive season reached us with the launch of Thespie’s All I Want For Christmas Is Theatre and The Theatre Channel’s fourth episode Hopeful Holidays.

The former has its focus on popular classics of the season, with ‘Santa Claus is Coming To Town’, ‘The Christmas Song’, ‘Miss You Most At Christmas Time’, ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You” all featuring. Songs to soothe the soul and gladden the heart, in beautiful settings.

The casts of previous Thespie Reunited shows Oops I Streamed It Again and Girl Power contribute, as well as performers from Pretty Woman and Heathers. There is a general feeling of camaraderie and cheer between performers just waiting patiently for regular shows and jobs to return.

With a bit of chat about what’s best about the Christmas season, and lots of red dresses, antlers and sexy Santa costumes, this has a feel-good sensibility which cannot be beaten.

Over at the Theatre Cafe, musicals are raided for their festive tunes, opening with ‘We Need a Little Christmas’ from Mame, and moving through the likes of Notre Dame de Paris, Promises Promises, Holiday Inn and ‘Seasons of Love’ from Rent (sung by graduates from ArtsEd in Chiswick).

The Cafe Four provide the lively harmonies to support the leading men and ladies (Sophie-Louise Dann, Cassidy Janson, Rachel John, Zizi Strallen, Matt Croke) and the production values are as high as ever.

A final number comes from a real theatre stage, mothballed and ghostly quiet without an audience, but ready to explode back into life when the time comes. It will, as theatre people are dedicated to the mantra we have heard so much this year, “the show must go on”.

Both Thespie (headed up by creative producer Aimie Atkinson) with their Reunited series, and The Theatre Cafe with Adam Blanshay Productions, have worked tirelessly this year to add some musical theatre cheer to the streaming space.

Especially at a Christmas where London and much of the south-east of England has effectively had plans cancelled due to Tier 4, with many other areas set to join them at a minute past midnight on Boxing Day, we need the escapism of entertainment more and more.

As All I Want For Christmas Is Theatre reflects on festive traditions, and Hopeful Holidays looks forward to some form of normality returning in 2021, I would also like to wish my regular and casual readers health, happiness and hope over this festive break – however you celebrate.

You can book to view Thespie’s festive show at (£15 per household, or as part of the Extended Access bundle for £50).

The Theatre Channel’s show can be purchased at (£15, or £50 for all five episodes so far as a package).

Image credits: Edward Johnson for Theatre Channel; Danny Kaan for Thespie.

LouReviews received complimentary access to review both shows.

Happy Holidays!

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from News, Reviews and Features – My Theatre Mates

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