While many seasonal activities have been abandoned this year, a theatre company in Salford and Greater Manchester have created a festive alternative to their cancelled Christmas show ‘Snowbabies’.
Colour the Clouds Theatre Company‘s sell-out show was meant to take place at The Lowry this December.
Creative producer at the company, Christabel Fox, 31, Salford, said: “It is incredibly disappointing that our plans have been cancelled and it’s daunting for us to try and think of new ways of working.
“There was a point where I thought there was no way we as a company could possibly recover from such a setback.
“We knew quite early on that our Christmas project ‘Snowbabies’ would not be going ahead at The Lowry and it was a blow. Snowbabies is a sensory experience and so would not be possible to do socially distanced even if the theatres were open.”
The company instead, put their heads together and created the ‘Mrs Claus ADVENT-ure’.
Christabel added: “Mrs. Claus’s ADVENT-ure was Catherine’s brainchild, she is our writer, composer, and producer. She has been thinking of how we can connect with our audiences remotely.
“None of us are particularly great with technology we decided to go old school with a postage project!”
Each ADVENT-ure pack contains 24 personalised letters from Mrs. Claus, a certificate of completion and all the craft items you need to complete the project.
Christabel said: “All the parents I know have completely run out of craft ideas from the first lock-down where we were trying to keep kids entertained whilst schools and nurseries were closed, so we have done the hard bit for them!
“There are crafts, games, clues and little acts of kindness which the kids complete to rise the Christmas Spirit at the North Pole.
“There are other Christmas letter services available but what makes ours unique are the complimentary activities which make the whole thing a bit more theatrical.
“This time last year we were setting up in the Lowry Studio, turning it into a Winter Wonderland with Mrs. Claus ready to welcome 100’s of babies in the run up to Christmas.
“I miss being in a theatre and I miss working as a team but I’m so proud that we have still managed to spread the Colour the Clouds magic this Christmas.”
Theatres in tier 3 areas will remain closed and companies like Colour the Clouds have been pushed to think creatively and resourcefully to remain operational.
Christabel said: “Although a postal project isn’t our usual area of expertise and ordinarily, we never would have ventured down this path I’m actually glad we have been forced to think outside of the box.
“Even when theatres reopen, I hope we will continue to think of alternative and creative ways to engage with and grow our audiences.
“It’s been tough for everyone and it’s been very difficult for everyone to plan for theatrical work for the next 12 months.
“The theatre industry is pretty bleak at the moment, but I’ve got hope that we can all come back from this stronger with a more diverse way of working.”