War on Christmas is no Dickens tale

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Gary McNair declares War on Christmas as part of The Arches’ festive season. Step into the shoes of an enthusiastic young Santa working one of Glasgow’s poorest grottos, as he embarks on a journey to find the true meaning of the season.

But be warned: A Christmas Carol this is not.

Invoking equal parts glitter and chaos, McNair invites audiences to work themselves into a festive frenzy in a night of song, silliness and social commentary.

The show mixes the best bits of traditional Christmas entertainment with a decent helping of satire, aiming squarely at a decidedly adult, if not entirely grown-up, audience.

McNair said of the production: “Glasgow has a proud tradition of performance at Christmas. Most of these, however, seem to be aimed at the family market.

“The best traditional shows are laden with jokes that go right over the kids’ heads for the amusement of their parents. But there really isn’t much out there at Christmas for adults who aren’t parents.

Another Arches festive offering that is aimed at the kids is Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot — a festive adventure story for all the family about gifts, friendship and the importance of eating your vegetables.

Written by Oliver Emanuel and directed by Gareth Nicholls, and starring David Ireland and Alasdair Hankinson, The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot is the story of Johnny, who hates Christmas, and Mr McGregor who loves it so much he wishes it could be Christmas every day. In this ‘scrumptious piece of storytelling’ (The Stage), we find out if Mr McGregor can save Christmas, what the greatest gift in the world is, and whether turkeys can do origami.

This will be the tenth year of festive family fun for the city centre venue. The Arches Christmas show has steadily grown in popularity amongst kids and adults alike, as the small theatre set-up guarantees great views from every seat and close proximity to the action on stage.

This year The Arches hopes to get audiences more involved with free activity sheets available and the opportunity to ‘interview’ the cast.

Little Boy runs from tonight (Thursday) until Sunday, January 4, 2015. Various times and ticket prices.

War on Christmas from Thursday to Sunday, December 11-28.