By Fanny Charles

CINDERELLA and the Ugly Sisters won’t be going to the ball at Salisbury this year, but Little Robin Redbreast will be flying into the Playhouse to bring some festive cheer to families from December 1 to 27.

This year’s Wiltshire Creative pantomime at the Playhouse should have been Cinderella, but, due to the coronavirus, it has been postponed to 2021, and replaced with the children’s show which sold out at its previous run at the theatre’s Salberg Studio three years ago in December.

The delightful festive treat, written by Wiltshire Creative artistic director Gareth Machin and composer Glyn Kerslake, is on the Playhouse main stage, for a reduced audience in a transformed and Covid-secure auditorium. Gareth said: “I’m really delighted we’re bringing back this popular, truly magical show for family audiences at Salisbury Playhouse this Christmas. Audiences loved this festive treat when we first staged it in 2017 and I hope that this year, especially, it will bring joy to more people young and old.”

The production focusses on little Robin who’s excitedly awaiting Christmas. To help him count down the days, Mummy and Daddy have given him an advent calendar. Behind every window is a picture and every picture tells a story. Robin links the pictures together as he makes his magical, musical journey towards Christmas Day, encountering a street-wise squirrel, an attention-seeking mouse, a family of reindeer, and a curious cat along the way. It’s a show full of songs, magic, and surprises for all the family.

For those who like their Christmas entertainment to provide some chills down the spine, Guy Masterson comes to the Playhouse in December with Christmas Gothic, three seasonal tales of terror to scintillate on dark winter nights. There will also be a return for Masterson’s brilliant and much-requested one-man retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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