An all-female theatre production company aims to bring some Christmas cheer to disadvantaged children this year, using food banks in Hastings and Eastbourne to give out free theatre tickets to low-income families.
Around 500 tickets to The Lost Toys’ Big Christmas Adventure at The White Rock Studio in Hastings and The Royal Hippodrome in Eastbourne have been paid for by local businesses.
The script has been written and directed by Kali Peacock from Eastbourne, who appeared in Finding Neverland, with original music by Hastings resident Sarah Travis, the first woman ever to win a Tony award for Orchestration for her work on the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.
The show charts the adventures of lost toys Tinsel the doll, Captain Courage and Moti the EmotiBot, who fall out of Father Christmas’s sleigh on their journey from his North Pole factory. Will they reach their children in time before they wake on Christmas morning, or will a naughty doll called Wicked Wanda stop them?
The production promises to be magical and multi-sensory – smell the forest, feel the wind in your hair, hear the sea crashing – and both venues are accessible to those with disabilities.
Together with actress and mum Katy Morgan, Kali Peacock co-founded UnderWired Productions in 2018. The pair, who co-created The Lost Toys, started their company after having children, frustrated with the lack of opportunities for mothers and women over 40 in the theatre industry.
Kali said: “Seeing a Christmas show is such a fabulous and magical family tradition, yet too many can barely afford to put food on the table, let alone think about theatre tickets.
“No child should be excluded from the arts because of money. These are our future actors, directors and stage managers but they’re never going to have an opportunity to pursue these careers without being exposed to the arts.
“Every child deserves a bit of Christmas magic and if we can give parents and carers a couple of hours respite, of not worrying about money, of giving them the chance to just be a family together, share an experience together, laugh together – then that’s something.”
The show runs from December 13-29 at White Rock Studio, Hastings (whiterocktheatre.org.uk), and on December 17 and 18 at The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne (royalhippodrome.com). Tickets cost £10 for adults (£7.50 concessions, family of four £32).
Find out more at www.underwiredproductions.com.
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