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Gearing up for Christmas

Gearing up for Christmas
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Covent Garden, the heart of London’s theatreland, has become the set for a show this Christmas. Half guided tour, half theatre, during the show the audience goes two by two into a series of encounters with panto characters. It’s not for the faint-hearted – as the audience, you have to get down and dirty, giving relationship advice and slagging off the baddies. In fact, it’s so hard-nosed that’s it’s only for adults.

The show is called “Once Upon A Christmas” and has been devised by the award winning “Look Left Look Right” company.

Mimi Poskitt, the artistic director of Look Left Look Right explained: “Making a show in a live environment where the public is wondering around and you’ve got characters dressed in fabulous panto costumes mingling in and out of the crowds has its problems, but I think it also adds to the theatricality of it, because we have lots of people who know nothing about the show who are watching and engaging and enjoying the performances.”

Each scene lasts about seven minutes, with the whole experience taking about an hour and 10 minutes.

Euan Forsyth, one of the actors in the show, said: “I play Griselda, one of the ugly sisters, and I talk to the audience a lot about my relationship with Cinderella’s wicked stepmother. And we go into Whittard and we try tea, it’s very interactive. I think immersive theatre really has exploded in the last 10-15 years. It’s something that the audience members are really after. They want something a little more live and more raw, an experience they can have and share with people, rather than sitting in and watching something.”

“Once Upon A Christmas” runs until 15th December.

For information about Look Left, Look Right see:

“A Mary Christmas” is the first Christmas album from by American R&B singer Mary J. Blige and includes all sorts of classic festive tracks.

She said: “When people listen to ‘A Mary Christmas,’ you know, it’s Christmas time, so I just want it to fill their lives with love and joy and make them remember when they were children if they had some good Christmas memories. And just make them feel good and just fill the world with love and fill the world with peace and joy and understanding.”

“A Mary Christmas” is already in shops.

For more information about Mary J Blige see:‎

While retailers across the world compete for Christmas profits with a series of fuzzy feel-good adverts, the Kmart ad features men shaking their festive boxers along to the tune of Jingle Bells.

The ad has unsurprisingly gone viral, notching up more than 7 million hits on YouTube much to the disapproval of US parenting group One Million Moms which has denounced the ad as “inappropriate”.

But Kmart, well known for controversial advertising, is unapologetic and has no intention of taking the ad off air. Especially not while its creating such a buzz.

See the festive boxers here:

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