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Audiences at Northern Stage will flock to Get Santa!

The Newcastle venue's Christmas show sees a little girl who wants to meet her Dad, set out to get Father Christmas for not granting her biggest wish

Advent calendar set design - Northern Stage
Advent calendar set design - Northern Stage

Every year Holly has been nice, not naughty. She has written Santa a letter, left milk, cookies and a carrot for Rudolph and asked for the one thing she really, really, really wants - to meet her dad for the first time.

And EVERY year, she ends up with toys and books and chocolate and all the other rubbish she didn’t want.

So on Christmas Eve, in the dead of night when everyone is asleep, Holly sets out to get Santa. But when her trap goes wrong and she kidnaps Santa’s hopeless son, a chain of magical events is unleashed that leads to a very grumpy Santa and an endless Christmas forced upon the world... it seems seventies rockers Wizzard may finally be getting their wish granted.

Written by award-winning Scottish playwright, Anthony Neilson and directed by Northern Stage artistic director Lorne Campbell, Get Santa promises to be a fun and festive new production with songs, slapstick and puppetry for children aged seven and over and their families.

© North News & Pictures Ltd Santa's son 'Bumblehole' played by actor Tom Walton being interviewed by BBC Look North's Sharuna Sagar who has a cameo role in Northern Stage's 'Get Santa!'
Santa's son 'Bumblehole' played by actor Tom Walton being interviewed by BBC Look North's Sharuna Sagar who has a cameo role in Northern Stage's 'Get Santa!'
 

It’s not a new thing for Northern Stage to make this offer, however in a break with the usual form, this Christmas, one group of talented youngsters will be doing more than just watch the on stage action.

For the first time, members of Northern Stage’s Young Company, which gives 16–21-year-olds the chance to develop their talent and skills through working with industry professionals, will take centre stage.

Lorne Campbell says, “We established our Young Company as a way to give excited and exciting young performers access to the professional stage. Casting Young Company members in Get Santa is a first try at taking some of our exceptional young people and putting them into the middle of our biggest show of the year.”

© North News & Pictures Ltd Santa's son 'Bumblehole' played by actor Tom Walton being interviewed by BBC Look North's Sharuna Sagar who has a cameo role in Northern Stage's 'Get Santa!'
Santa's son 'Bumblehole' played by actor Tom Walton being interviewed by BBC Look North's Sharuna Sagar who has a cameo role in Northern Stage's 'Get Santa!'
 

For Get Santa, six Young Company members aged 17-19 will take part, including 18-year-old Anna Robinson from Gosforth who has been cast as understudy to the lead role of Holly.

She says: “I’m looking forward to working with a real, professional company, with real, professional actors! I’d always thought the only way to work professionally was through getting some sort of drama school qualification - I never thought I’d be doing it at 18.”

Nineteen-year-old Phoebe Elliott from Newcastle has been involved with Northern Stage since she was 11. “I’m really looking forward to being part of Get Santa!” she says.

“Northern Stage is responsible for most of my professional development - I’ve done everything from summer schools to development projects to fundraising performances. I’m also a National Youth Theatre member and I founded, and run, my own theatre company.”

In another first this Christmas, the venue’s newest talent will be joined by some more familiar faces – BBC Look North’s Sharuna Sagar and ITV Tyne Tees and Good Morning Britain presenter Rachel Sweeney.

Rachel said, “I was over the moon to be asked to play a cameo role. The script is funny and I’m thrilled to be a part of the show. I have written comedy and my mother is a stand-up comedian so I always appreciate a witty one-liner or two! It’s going to be a fantastic experience and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

© North News & Pictures Ltd Sharuna has a cameo role in Northern Stage's 'Get Santa!'
Sharuna has a cameo role in Northern Stage's 'Get Santa!'
 

The cast also includes Tessa Parr as Holly; singer, musician and actor Jane Holman as Holly’s Mum; Gary Kitching as her stepdad...who also happens to be a dog; Tom Walton as Santa’s son Bumblehole; and Paula Penman as Holly’s Gran.

Lorne says, “Get Santa is a show with a huge, modern heart. It’s about the magic of Christmas, the imagination of childhood, the weirdness of families and that even if you accidentally bring an evil teddy bear to life and almost destroy the world, your Gran will still love you.”

* Get Santa! will be performed at Northern Stage from December 1 to 17. For tickets, call 0191 230 5151 or visit www.northernstage.co.uk

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