Re-imagining theatre during a Covid Christmas

4Front Theatre's daily digital Advent Calendar offers kids a fun and educational way to count down the days until Christmas Day.

Christian theatre group 4Front was forced to cancel all of its in-person shows when Covid-19 struck, but artistic director Rob Holman says they were determined to do something this Christmas to put a smile on people's faces after a challenging year.

While the group would normally spend December touring churches and schools with its Christmas shows, this year they have had to invest in equipment to record and livestream festive performances so that families, churches and communities can enjoy them virtually instead. 

Holman said: "Christmas would normally be one of our busiest times of the year with nationally touring Christmas shows, and for 2020 we were even considering organising three tours throughout December.

"However, we, like the rest of the arts industry have been forced to drastically re-imagine how we engage with people at Christmas-time. Yet we're always up for a challenge, and have plenty in store this Christmas." 

4Front's Christmas show, A Very Merry Covid Cancelled Christmas, is available to watch on-demand via Vimeo throughout December. 

The comedy is inspired by William Winstanley, the 17th century English poet credited with 'saving Christmas' when festive celebrations were banned by the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell.

"Christmas is a joyous celebration, right in the heart of winter, the toughest part of the year," said Holman.

"It's been a tough year for everyone, so this Christmas, we were more determined than ever to create something that put a smile on people's faces."

4Front has also launched a digital Advent Calendar on its Facebook page offering children daily educational videos with a mix of songs, challenges, spoken word and festive fun to count down the days until Christmas.

Holman added: "We hope to remind audiences of all the things that make Christmas awesome, and celebrate them together, regardless of what's going on in the world around us."

It's the first day of our Virtual Advent Calendar (shared over on our Virtual Sunday School page ????). Check it out below! ????

Posted by 4front theatre on Tuesday, 1 December 2020