With Christmas fast approaching, we spoke to Actor and DJ Craig Charles about his two latest projects- ‘Scary Fairy Saves Christmas’ and ‘Funks Up Christmas’ at The Lowry Theatre.

‘Scary Fairy Saves Christmas’ is a collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The show will feature fairy tales rewritten by Craig Charles accompanied by the music of the orchestra.

Speaking about the production, he said: ‘We’d done a Halloween piece and then a Bonfire Night piece which was based on Hansel and Gretal and now we’re doing a Christmas one. The villain in the first one was the Wicked Wolf, then the Wicked Witch and now it’s Rumplestiltskin.

“It’s great. We’ve got Ian Farrington the composer. He’s done the score, I’ve done the lyrics. We’ve got a 94 piece band, it’s just great that we’re working together.”

The tales are set through the eyes of The Scary Fairy who reveals what really happened in the stories that were misreported by various creatures in the Dark Wood.

Craig Charles continued to say: “I used to write these for my kids going to bed at night. They were like the Goosebumps tales. From then to go from that to performing live at The Lowry is surreal.”

As well as ‘Scary Fairy Saves Christmas’, he also has ‘Funks Up Christmas’- a Funk and Soul gig that he’ll be DJing.

He said: “We’ve got lots of special guests. Odyssey who sang Native New Yorker, The Real Thing who did You To Me Are Everything, we’ve got some Northern soul, we’ve got my Fantasy Funk Band. It’s just an awesome band. We thought we’d throw a party on and just get funky.”

Speaking of his interest in Funk & Soul Music, he commented: “My dad came over to England from the West Indies in the mid 50s and one of my earliest memories is my mum and dad dancing around the kitchen to Ray Charles. I grew up with it. Whilst people were listening to the Beatles, we were listening to Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin in that Golden Era of Black American music.”

When asked what’s next for him, Craig Charles said that next year he’ll be filming more series of his hit shows- Red Dwarf and The Gadget Show.

‘Funks Up Christmas’ takes place at The Lowry on Tuesday 4th December with ‘Scary Fairy Saves Christmas’ taking to the stage the following day, Wednesday 5th December.

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