Theatre The Sherling Studio

Overview

Festive fun for everyone ages 3–10 and their families

Jessie’s dad has got her a lovely little present. It’s all wrapped up, and tied with a beautiful bow. She can’t wait to open it, but she isn’t allowed to until Christmas day.

Jessie shakes it and sniffs it and tries to sneak a peek, but Dad puts it just out of her reach and keeps a close eye on it. To keep her amused, he has laid a secret advent trail for her to follow. Jessie discovers a fun-filled journey with magical surprises that capture her imagination.

With gorgeous original live music, some gentle audience participation, and maybe a Brussel sprout or two, Can't wait for Christmas is a charming Christmas treat.

Running time 45 minutes

Interview with director Imogen Bond

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With gorgeous original live music, some gentle audience participation, and maybe a Brussels sprout or two, Can’t Wait For Christmas is a charming festive treat for younger theatre goers and their families. The story follows what happens when Jessie’s dad gives her a lovely little present, all wrapped up and tied with a beautiful bow. She can’t wait to open it, but she isn’t allowed to until Christmas Day.

Jessie shakes it and sniffs it and tries to sneak a peek, but Dad puts it just out of her reach and keeps a close eye on it. To keep her amused, he has laid a secret advent trail for her to follow. Jessie discovers a fun-filled journey filled with magical surprises that capture her imagination.

Here, Imogen Bond, the co-creator and director of Can’t Wait For Christmas answers some of our questions and sheds some light on how an idea makes it to the stage…

Can’t Wait For Christmas is a truly magical festive story, what was the thinking behind it?

Tarek Merchant (the composer) and I were talking about possible Christmassy ideas and we both remembered so vividly that Christmas took aaaaages to arrive when you were little, waiting for all the festivities to begin. We wanted to make a show that captured that feeling of anticipation. How special it is to spend time together at Christmas, playing together and sharing Christmas treats really came through during the rehearsals, so that became the main journey through the play for Jessie and Dad.

Who is the show for?

It’s for everyone aged three-plus. It’s very gentle and sweet, so it’s great for children that might not like a more boisterous panto. Jessie’s amazing imagination means that everyday jumpers, hats and carrots all get transformed in front of the audience, so older children (say up to 10 years) can also enjoy it in a different magical way, and perhaps every child understands how Jessie feels when Dad hasn’t got time to play with her at the start. Last year we had a few teary mums and dads in the audience too, so I genuinely think there’s something lovely in it for everyone!

What’s in store for audiences in Poole?

It’s a real Christmas treat! There are so many festive surprises, some that are funny, some are really magical – it’s inventive and full of imagination. Plus, the music is gorgeous – and it will make you LOVE sprouts! 

It’s almost a hymn to simpler times, is technology a substitute or stimulus for the imagination?

I think technology is great, and it can be a really amazing stimulus for your imagination; the internet is a brilliant platform for sharing and developing ideas, but I love it when I can manage to leave my phone for a bit and I take some time to actually look around me – all those stories just waiting to be told!

What advice would you give children who can’t wait for Christmas?

I’m not very patient at all, so I’m not sure I’m the best person to give advice, but I guess finding the magic in little things will help pass the time – write to Father Christmas; or make presents for your family. Put all your Christmassy excitment into those things and it’ll whizz by.

And what about their parents?

I’m definitely not qualified for this! Maybe it’s good to remember that Christmas can be really magical, and you don’t need big presents or to spend loads of money to make that happen!

Have you met any real-life Jessies, or Dads?

I actually have a met a few children that reminded me of Jessie – my boyfriend’s goddaughter has the most amazing imagination and is full of ideas and enthusiasm, and is occasionally a bit cheeky, just like Jessie. Dad is a little bit based on my own Dad – but don’t tell him, he’ll get a big head!  

What’s the best thing about Christmas?

A Boxing Day sandwich! Every year my family go for a big walk through the woods on Boxing Day and then head home for sandwiches made from all the leftovers. We play board games and when everyone is too over excited, we smush up on the sofa and watch a film. Perfect. I can’t wait!

* Imogen Bond photo by Craig Nom Chong

Ticket Information

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Fantastic for families