NEWS: Roustabout Presents The Great Big Christmas Story Mix Up

Bristol based family theatre company, Roustabout are back with a festive version of The Great Big Story Mix Up, an improvised storytelling show for families. Presented live via Zoom, it’s an interactive experience in which children make all of the key decisions for the performers and is designed to be as close as possible to the live experience of being part of an audience in a theatre.   Check out what we thought of the show when we reviewed it earlier this year.

Robin Hemmings and Toby Hulse in The Great Big Story Mix Up. Credit: Craig Fuller

Totally live, interactive, and unique, The Great Big Christmas Story Mix Up brings communities together to inspire creative, imaginative play and celebrate the theatre tradition whilst using the best of new technology. The show is hosted by and streamed live from the wonderfully maverick Wardrobe Theatre, a venue intimately connected with Bristol’s improvisation and family theatre scene, and that has a nine year history of presenting some of the most imaginative and wildest Christmas shows around. 

We’re delighted to have The Great Big Christmas Story Mix Up live-streaming from The Wardrobe Theatre this Christmas. It’s so exciting to be hosting a show that is so interactive and that encourages everyone at home to join in so much to be part of the action! Plus every show will be completely different so we can’t wait to see where each adventure will take us.”  

Matthew Whittle, Co-Director at The Wardrobe Theatre

The audience are involved in every element of the action, choosing characters, storylines, costumes, and props, with one lucky family even getting to play the role of musical director and tell the cast when it’s time to break into song. Children can even submit drawings to be animated and become part of the scenery. One show might feel like Snow Golem and the Seven Dwarfs, another might be Luke Skywalker and the Beanstalk. Minecraft, Star Wars, Frozen, Paw Patrol, anything goes as characters, props and set are chosen by the audience then expertly crafted into an hilarious Christmas show by the experienced and brilliant actors and crew. The best bit is, as it is online, you can watch it with your friends down the road or your cousin in Australia.

Our country has a long and glorious tradition of family Christmas shows, that are joyously raucous, appeal across the ages, and actively invite participation. Roustabout’s challenge was to move all of this into an online auditorium, without losing any of what makes theatre so magical.’ 

Performer and director, Toby Hulse.

The actors can see, hear and respond to the audience, and in moments of full on participation, the audience can also see, hear and respond to each other. The experience is a wonderful hybrid of traditional theatre and the thing that secretly we all want – to shout at the TV and have it actually hear you.  So join Roustabout Theatre for an hour of seasonal laughter and nonsense this Christmas, and be sure to send in your pictures before the performance. Without your imaginations, the show can’t go on!

Age recommendation: For ages 3+
Price: £5 per screen
Show dates: 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd 23rd, 24th, 27th, 28th December 2020
Show times: 19th & 27th (2pm shows); 20th – 24th, 28th (11am shows)