Free Time

A magical winter season at Stamford Arts Centre 

↑ The Elves and the Shoemaker (Theatre of Widdershins) Saturday, 19 Dec 2.30pm

For drama fans, there are some real treats featuring local and national talents. Classic British farce See How They Run gives Stamford Shoestring Theatre members yet another opportunity to showcase their extraordinary range of skills: It is 1944 and Mrs Toop, a glamorous retired actress now married to the local vicar, receives a visit from an old actor friend and soldier. They decide to go for a night out and some very odd things start to happen… The shenanigans include four men dressed as vicars, a parish lady in a cupboard, and a bishop in his pyjamas! (Tue 8 – Sat 12 Dec 7.45pm). Jane Eyre, an encore streaming from the National Theatre, tells Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane, and it’s as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment on her own terms. From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart. This acclaimed re-imagining of Brontë’s masterpiece was first staged by Bristol Old Vic last year (Tue 22 Dec 7pm).

There is plenty for the families and children. Santa in Love is especially for primary schools – join Santa and his friends in this fun-filled family musical, complete with games, giggles and all your favourite Christmas songs. Meet Santa after the show for a photo with your class – and don’t forget to bring your letter for Santa, too! (Tue 15 Dec 10.30am & 1.30pm, then £6 plus 1 free teacher for every 10 children 2 years+). There are utterly awesome puppet performances from Theatre of Widdershins, who return to Stamford with The Elves and the Shoemaker. The tale has been re-heeled in Widdershin’s own inimitable style, using beautifully crafted sets and puppets, sublime music, a kaleidoscope of miniature shoes and a comic mouse. A magical must-see! (Sat 19 Dec 2.30pm; 3-9 years.)

Let the enchantment begin with Winter storytelling, with Marion Leeper. Marion returns with her winter stories to put you and your family in the mood for the Christmas season. If you’ve never been to a storytelling show before, come and experience how live, interactive storytelling can draw in the very youngest children and weave its spell over both adults and children. (Wed 23 Dec 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 2pm, 2.30pm or 3pm; 2-7 years.)

If music is your thing, then Christmas in Harmony, featuring Woven Chords and Abi Moore, will prove a seasonal highlight! You’ll hear classy Christmas standards, haunting traditional carols and heart-warming festive songs from around the world, performed by Stamford Arts Centre’s very own resident choir. You can also enjoy the enchanting voice of Abi Moore, the choir’s musical director, as she performs a handful of acoustic, wintry songs, too. (Fri 18 Dec 7.30pm.)

And for lovers of traditional panto? Beauty and the Beast, by Polka Dot Pantomimes, brings to Stamford a classic story for all the family, whether you are three or 103 years old! There will be plenty of audience participation, modern songs to sing along to, huge amounts of laughter, and a great story to ensure that everyone leaves with a smile on their faces. (Thur 7 – Sun 10 Jan 2016.)

For more details, including prices, visit www.stamfordartscentre.com

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