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Celebrate Christmas at Warwick Arts Centre

Live at Warwick Arts Centre. Image courtesy of WAC.

December 2023 sees Warwick Arts Centre welcome a legendary monster, stirring festive songs, laughter, amazing science, and your favourite seasonal movies. This December, there's lots to celebrate at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry.

Leading the charge is The Gruffalo (Sat 2 to Sun 31 Dec 2023). An adaption of writer Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler's much-loved picture book, the tale of Mouse's trek into the deep dark wood, and the creatures he meets, is bought to life by Tall Stories (whose Smeds And The Smoos was a huge hit at Warwick Arts Centre earlier this year).

Since it was first published in 1999, The Gruffalo has gone on to sell over 13.5 million copies worldwide, and been translated into 107 languages and dialects. Tall Stories were quick to spot the story's appeal, debuting their stage production in 2001. It’s since toured the world to huge acclaim! Suitable for ages 3+, and packed with songs, laughs and monstrous fun, Tall Stories' The Gruffalo is a firmly established classic that crosses generations.

Before and after every performance of The Gruffalo, young visitors can also visit The Woodland (free, drop-in): make a creature-inspired festive bauble and decorate it with stencils, sticky eyes, and more; or try on a Woodland disguise and take a selfie against a backdrop of especially designed trees.

Enjoy some Gospel music. Photo courtesy of WAC.

Also on the bill at Warwick Arts Centre are a variety of concerts which underline the broad appeal of music over the festive season:

The University Of Warwick Chamber Choir explore composers’ fascination with the latter part of the day for Strange Is The Night (Fri 1 Dec 2023), which also promises several Christmassy numbers.

The Unthanks in Winter. Photo courtesy of WAC.

The Unthanks In Winter (Fri 8 Dec 2023) sees the acclaimed North East combo present a dream-like winter fantasia.

Embracing both the dark and the light in the most ritualistic of seasons, The Unthanks mix traditional with newly written material for a hymnal to our shared winter experience. West Mids’ own Katherine Priddy, whose much-anticipated second album is due for February, supports.

The Young 'Uns. Photo courtesy of WAC.

Meanwhile, The Young'Uns At Christmas (Sat 9 & Sun 10 Dec 2023) finds Teeside’s Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle delving into a set of seasonal songs, both old and new, all interspersed with their relentless (and amusing) repartee.

The IDMC Gospel Soul Choir. Photo courtesy of WAC.

In the run up to celebrating their 30th anniversary, the IDMC Gospel Soul Choir dig into their festive repertoire for Gospel Christmas (Fri 15 Dec 2023) - a night of soulful celebration from the choir who've previously collaborated with such artists as Michael Bublé, Pavarotti, Heather Small, Sting, and performed at Buckingham Palace.

Warwick Arts Centre's first Seasonal Makers Market (Wed 6 Dec, 4pm-9pm) offers an array of tempting items from 20 independent traders and makers - from prints and jewellery to vinyl and plants - with an emphasis on sustainability and affordability.

Live At Christmas (Thu 14 Dec 2023) promises a night of glittering comedy featuring David O'Doherty, Fern Brady, Jen Brister, Kyrah Gray and Warwickshire's own rising star, Josh Pugh (Live At The Apollo, The Power Of Parker).

Entertainment from the University Scientists. Photo courtesy of WAC.

The always popular Warwick Christmas Lectures (Thu 30 Nov, Thu 7 Dec) are also back. Scientists from the University of Warwick, including Ally Caldecote (Department Of Physics) and Alex Baker (Department Of Chemistry), stray from their laboratory homes to entertain and amaze audiences.

Not to be outdone, Warwick Arts Centre’s cinema screens promise a run of festive favourites (see website for details), as well as the latest movie releases, including Wonka (from Dec 26) – the new musical fantasy starring Timothée Chalamet as the young chocolatier Willy Wonka, with songs by The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon.

And if all that has you feeling a little peckish, head to Benugo Bar and Kitchen for a range of enticing Christmas specials. On the menu are such delights as turkey roulade wrapped in bacon with pigs-in-blankets; mushroom, chestnut and thyme pithivier; and pan-fried sea bass. Plus Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, sherry trifle, and vegan brownie with salted caramel ice cream.

Warwick Arts Centre’s Director, Doreen Foster, said: “From festive songs to scientific surprises, and a host of colourful characters, big and small - Warwick Arts Centre has plenty to keep you smiling this December.”

For more information, and to book tickets, see:


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