Aberdeen Performing Arts has unveiled a Christmas treat with an online advent calendar of performances by a range of glittering stars.
Reid Robin’s Christmas Bosies will see short 10-minute videos by artists and performers, including panto favourites Elaine C Smith and Alan McHugh, released each day in the 12 days up to Christmas Eve, starting from Sunday December 13.
The aim is to move the much-loved festive offerings usually found at His Majesty’s Theatre, the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree online, with a selection box to suit all tastes and ages, featuring a range of musicians, storytellers, dancers, poets, actors and more.
APA chief executive Jane Spiers said: “For many, the HMT panto, Lemon Tree Christmas Show or the festive Music Hall concerts such as The Snowman or Phil Cunningham’s Songbook are a staple of their Christmas traditions. This is usually our busiest time of year, and we just couldn’t let the festive season go by without making a contribution.
Blown away by support
“We’ve been blown away by the support from our customers throughout this very challenging year, and we wanted to give something back and let everyone know that we are here and looking forward to the future.
“This special project gives us the chance to do what we do best and share some cheer with our audiences, who we are all missing so much this year.”
Each video will be introduced by the Lemon Tree’s resident Doric-speaking birdie, Reid Robin, who has been brought to life by the animators at Aberdeen creative agency Design and Code, and the North-east’s own Christmas star, writer and actress Joyce Falconer.
Elaine C Smith will kick off proceedings on December 13, putting her own unique Scots twist on fairytale classic The Princess and the Pea.
Christmas Eve treat
HMT favourite Alan McHugh will return to the HMT stage to perform an exclusive panto-themed rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas, before the prestigious BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to wrap up proceedings on Christmas Eve, with a perfect festive performance guaranteed to get everyone in the mood for Christmas Day.
Other highlights include award- winning children’s theatre duo Ivor MacAskill and Fiona Manson, better known as The Polar Bears. A regular sell-out with Lemon Tree family audiences, the advent calendar will see them entertaining fans with a Zoom party on December 15.
Aberdeen lass Danielle Jam, best known for her role on Cbeebies’ hit show Molly and Mack, will feature on December 21, reciting Little Miss Christmas.
Also in the mix will be classical musicians Elena Urioste and Tom Poster, percussionist Owen Gunnell, and clarsach player Siannie Moodie. There will be delightful festive stories and poems from Mara the Storyteller, and Doric poet Jo Gilbert, and festive capers from Shaper Caper Dance Company, and Ten Feet Tall Theatre and Frozen Charlotte.
Special moments along the way
APA’s director of programming and creative projects Ben Torrie: “Reid Robin has been busy gathering some amazing performances and treats for the winter, and we’ve been thrilled to work with such a varied array of talented people on this wonderful project; we are very proud of it. There will be some familiar faces, and some really special moments along the way.
“After the year we’ve all had, there is something very comforting about seeing Alan McHugh in full panto dame costume on the HMT stage, even if we have had to do things a bit differently this year!”
“It’s been a lot of fun pulling it all together! It’s going to be a really positive, fun and varied contribution to the festivities – we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on!”
For further details, please visit: https://www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/reid-robins-christmas-bosies