Banbury-based theatre company creates Christmas Variety Show film in support of local food bank

A Banbury-based theatre company promises to bring festive cheer this Christmas season with Christmas Variety Show film to support the local food bank.

By Matt Elofson
Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 11:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 11:28 pm
Avocet Theatre Company, a Banbury-based theatre group, have created an entire Christmas Variety Show production - All Together at Christmas – all whilst adhering to social distancing rules.
Avocet Theatre Company, a Banbury-based theatre group, have created an entire Christmas Variety Show production - All Together at Christmas – all whilst adhering to social distancing rules.

Avocet Theatre Company, a Banbury-based theatre group, have created an entire Christmas Variety Show production - All Together at Christmas – all whilst adhering to social distancing rules.

The charity are streaming their festive show for free, but are inviting donations in order to support ATC and some of Banbury’s local food banks.

Whilst All Together at Christmas will be free to watch, Avocet Theatre Company are encouraging people to donate via their JustGiving page.

The programme includes a Love Actually spoof, well known Christmas songs and a medley from their 2019 sell out Christmas production of Elf the Musical. (image from Avocet Theatre Company)

All Together at Christmas will be available to stream for free at www.AvocetTheatre.co.uk from Thursday December 24 at 3pm.

Viewing of All Together at Christmas is free, but donations via www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/atc are encouraged, with any profits being split with local food banks.

Avocet Theatre Company are not new to the concept of creating exciting, filmed theatrical performances during the pandemic. They were the first group in the area to release a digital production - The Virtual Variety Show - in the summer which raised more than £1,000 for the NHS.

Following all performing arts guidelines, the group has filmed acts in a socially distanced manner, with many acts being filmed from the cast members' own homes. The cast, made up of local performers aged eight to 60 have worked together on this ambitious film and promise that it will get you into the Christmas spirit.

Soloist from the Christmas Variety Show production - All Together at Christmas - from the Avocet Theatre Company

All Together at Christmas includes over 20 brand new festive themed acts including comedy, singing and dancing.

Ben Coleman, the chairman and artistic director of Avocet Theatre Company, said: “After the success of The VIrtual Variety Show, we were eager to give our members and the people of Banbury a Christmas treat.”

“Theatre has been majorly impacted worldwide during this pandemic, but Avocet Theatre Company have continued to create new and exciting work that people can participate in and enjoy in safe and creative ways.”

Nearly 30 local performers, ranging from young newcomers to experienced adults, are taking part in this exciting project.

Ben added: “We have created a number of Christmas themed sketches and parody performances as well as some beautiful musical and dance performances.

"We have also included a Christmas Sketch from ATC’s Web Series -Acting Out. Be prepared for other acts including a Love Actually spoof, well known Christmas songs and a medley from our 2019 sell out Christmas production of Elf the Musical.”

The group has received praise from national theatrical organisations for their level of engagement and creativity during the pandemic. ATC has not only created two full length filmed productions during the pandemic, but also engaged the local community with daily taskmaster tasks, online script ‘Read Through Sessions’ and a Lockdown Special of their Acting Out web series.

The group also recently won NODA’s prestigious Constance Power Trophy of Encouragement for Oxfordshire.

Ben added: “Whilst we cannot wait to get back to rehearsals for our next staged production of Robin Hood, I could not be more proud of how our members have continued to create theatre, supporting ATC’s mantra since the start of the pandemic - Coronavirus cannot stop Creativity.

“We were thrilled to have been given charity status towards the end of last year.

"Unfortunately, during this time we still have running costs which we need to cover and this will go some way to supporting us with those. We also plan to split any profits we may make with local food banks who we know are so heavily relied upon - particularly over the festive period. We know times are tough for everyone, but please consider donating any amount you can whilst enjoying All Together at Christmas.”