Christmas with the Hobs

This December Alnwick Playhouse, Maltings Berwick and Queen’s Hall Arts are teaming up with CaroleW Productions to create Christmas with the Hobs, a brand new festive animation made in Northumberland for audiences everywhere to experience at home, and in schools, hospitals and care homes.

It’s Christmas Eve at Nana’s house and Tyler and Eliza are waiting for Dad to pick them up to start the celebrations. But when plans change, they must work together to create a Christmas to remember – with the help of their newfound friends, the Hobs! Join them as they discover what really makes Christmas special, with mishaps and mayhem along the way.

Written by Becci Sharrock, Christmas with the Hobs is illustrated by Sheila Graber who animated the children’s TV series Paddington in the 1980s, with original music by North East singer songwriter Bridie Jackson. The cast are Joseph Casling, Jude Nelson, Lewis Jobson, Viktoria Kay, and Jacqueline Phillips who will also direct.

Katy Taylor, Queen’s Hall Arts Artistic Director said, “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Alnwick Playhouse and Berwick Maltings to create a wonderful new animation for Christmas. This is the first time we’ve commissioned an animation and we are so lucky to be working with a fantastically talented team of artists and performers. All three venues in Northumberland were successful in our applications for emergency funding from Arts Council England last month and this has enabled us to try something new and make something truly magical for our audiences this Christmas.” 

“We know that freelance performers, technicians and artists have really struggled while venues have been closed, and many people have been unable to access government financial support – so it’s vital that we do our bit to help. Christmas with the Hobs gave us an opportunity to bring together North East arts professionals to create a magical Christmas gift from Northumberland. We hope you enjoy it!”

Becci Sharrock was inspired to start writing after her first experience of working in theatre, as an usher on The Pitmen Painters at Live Theatre. Her first commission as a producer – Waiting for Angus – was a co-commission from Maltings Berwick, Theatre Royal Newcastle and ARC Stockton, through the Bridging the Gap programme. She has since worked with Northern Stage, Theatre Sans Frontières and New Writing North. She also runs the Hexham young writers’ group in partnership with Queen’s Hall Arts and Hexham Book Festival; Joseph Casling who plays Tyler in the show participated in the group.

Becci said, “I was so excited to be asked to write Christmas with the Hobs. It feels like a chance to spread a little bit of Christmas magic, which we need this year more than ever. With such a crack team of creatives working on the production, audiences are in for a real treat. I hope they enjoy meeting the Hobs as much as I enjoyed writing them and fall in love with their cheeky personalities, the naughty and the nice sides!”

Christmas with the Hobs will be streamed online from 12-31 December. Tickets are free but must be booked via the three venues’ websites. Donations are welcome and will support future commissions and creative projects in Northumberland.

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