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2012’s seasonal stars share their festive favourites

Published 5 December 2012

Last year we started a new Christmas theatrical tradition, quizzing some of the stars from a selection of festive shows about their yuletide passions and wintery joys. While we were proud to give you insights into the world of Stick Man and The Gruffalo to name but a few, we think we’ve raised our Christmassy game this year with The Great British Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc, Stick Man’s Lady Love, Little Charley Bear and The Wind In The Willows’ Toad revealing what they’ll be up to this season and why you should pop by and say hello.

Mel Giedroyc, star of Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
I think they should come because it’s a rumbustuous rollicking feel-good extravaganza which will make the parents chuckle like fools and have the kids booing, braying and baa-ing in equal measure. Man, I should work in sales.

Who will you be spending Christmas with and what will you be doing?
My husband and children, sisters and brothers and their children, in-laws and brothers and sisters-in law….the clan, basically. It will be mayhem.

What are your top three favourite things about Christmas?
Ridiculous games, bread sauce and my children’s gleeful faces.

What would you like Father Christmas to bring you this year?
200 hours’ sleep. Wrapped up in a nice bow.

Dylan Kennedy and Ruby Bentall, stars of the National Theatre’s Hansel And Gretel

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
RB: Because it’s funny, beautiful and has a happy ending.
DK: It’s a very unique show; singing ovens, flying bats, magical pebbles and one or two more surprises to keep everyone entertained until they all live happily ever after!

What is your favourite festive moment in the show?
RB: When the family are reunited and it starts to snow.
DK: A magical moment when the sky opens on Christmas Eve and it snows!!

Who will you be spending Christmas with and what will you be doing?
RB: I will be spending it at home with my brothers, sister and parents and we will be eating lots and playing games.
DK: I will be watching the weather in the hope I can fly home to be with my family… fingers crossed!

What are your top three favourite things about Christmas?
RB: Food, presents and being with my family.
DK: Being together for Christmas dinner, still not being able to go to sleep Christmas Night – too excited! – and giving presents.

The formidable Mrs Trott (Jack’s mum) from Jack And The Beanstalk at the Theatre Royal Stratford East

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
Because I say so! What a cheeky question. I’m Mrs Trott and don’t you forget it!

What is your favourite festive moment in the show?
Never mind festive! My favourite moment is seeing my good son Jack save the day. He’s a very good lad!

Who will you be spending Christmas with and what will you be doing?
I’ll be spending Christmas with my son Jack, our good friend Mr Fleece and our lovely cow Marilyn. She’ll be going for the vegetarian option.

Little Charley Bear from Little Charley Bear And His Christmas Adventure at the Ambassadors theatre

Why should families come to the show?
It is a really fun Christmas adventure with songs, games, laughter, snow and even a visit from Santa. You’ll meet all my friends from CBeebies too!

What’s your favourite festive moment in the show?
When we go to the North Pole to look for Santa. I’m only a little furry bear, so I need to dress up warm and watch out for polar bears. I need my friends to help and warn me if they see any.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?
I like to sing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. If you come to the show you’ll get to sing it with us. There are lots of songs to sing, even one that makes it snow. But you’ll have to sing it loudly. The more the merrier!

Who will you be spending Christmas with?
I will be with all my friends. I’ll play with Midge the bear, Caramel the cow, Frozo the penguin and Bellarina. Nibblit will be there as well, even though he’s a bit naughty

Real life twins Danielle and Nichole Bird who star in The Prince & The Pauper at the Unicorn theatre

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
DB: Because there’s something in the show for everyone! Music, fights, romance etc. Even for the ‘big kids’, the adults. It’s a lovely story, exciting to follow the journeys, both the prince and the pauper and the scrapes they get in to.
NB: Most people have some recollection of the story of The Prince & The Pauper, you may have seen the films, but it’s exciting to be able to see it on stage.

What is your favourite festive moment in the show?
DB: When we all have a sing-song at the end and the audience are clapping along.
NB: Personally I enjoy the moment when Tom is reunited with his mother, order is restored and all is forgiven! Of course I would enjoy that all year round not just at Christmas!

Who will you be spending Christmas with and what will you be doing?
DB: I’m from South Wales and usually I go home to my parents for Christmas, but this year they are coming to London so Nichole and I are hosting Christmas. We will make the most of the Winter Wonderland and the Christmas markets, enjoying a mulled wine with a mince pie or two.

What are your top three favourite things about Christmas?
DB: Seeing friends and family, getting cosy inside with some good grub – even better with a roaring fire – and maybe a kiss under the mistletoe… why not?!
NB: Family, brandy cream (yum), and opening presents in my PJs.

David Hunter, who plays Horton the Elephant in Seussical at the Arts theatre

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
There really is something for everyone. I often liken it to good Disney; the show is so well written and crafted that it will entertain audiences of all ages. Use the kids as an excuse to come and see this brilliant show!
 
What is your favourite festive moment in the show?
The spirit of the show is the most festive part. We don’t have Christmas elves and Santa, we have Whos and Elephants, but the spirit of these beautiful Dr Seuss stories makes you feel instantly festive.
 
What’s your favourite Christmas film ever?
I’m a child of the 80s, so I’m more Home Alone than It’s A Wonderful Life, but my all-time favourite is probably Elf. A newbie, but a goodie! And I should probably say The Grinch to stick with the Seuss theme.
 
What would you like Father Christmas to bring you this year?
Toys! Those were the best Christmas mornings, waking up, opening presents and playing all day. I’d be happy with a GhostBusters action figure and pot of slime every year!

Stick Man’s Lady Love, from Stick Man Live On Stage at the Leicester Square theatre

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
Our show is sticktacular fun for all the family! There is singing and dancing and you will see the story of our most memorable Christmas ever. You will meet my delightful Stick children three and my lovely husband, Stick Man, the handsomest stick in the whole forest. You also get to see inside my home which is very clean. All the other Stick Ladies admire my in-treerior designs!

What’s your favourite Christmas film ever?
It’s A Wonderful Stick Life

Who will you be spending Christmas with and what will you be doing?
We like to stick around at home at Christmas. It’s too cold to be out playing in the forest and it would be too dangerous for us to gather around a fire. We always enjoy a relaxing time together and like to unwind and get rid of all the knots in our backs after the hecticness of Christmas shopping.
 
What are your top three favourite things about Christmas?
The Stick children love to feed the reindeers in the forest. Stick Man loves my special stick-y toffee pudding and I enjoy a game of Stick poker!

What would you like Father Christmas to bring you this year?
The best present in the world would be a very special someone who I have been missing. I just hope he will come home for Christmas. Oh, and also some cleaning products please. The tree house has been full of woodlice this year.  It has been very difficult to get rid of the little bugs!

Toad from The Wind In The Willows at Polka theatre. Poop! Poop!

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
Because the show is all about meeeeee! The handsome and popular toad, the generous and welcoming Toad, with his fabulous new motor cars, caravans and speed boats… pop by! Anytime is a good time to call on Toad!

What’s your favourite Christmas film ever?
I enjoy The Muppets Christmas Carol, those Muppets are doing a jolly good job of trying to be human, and they often ride around in boats, motor cars and carriages as well…

What are your top three favourite things about Christmas?
Presents for me and presents for my friends as well. Of course a glorious, roaring fire in Toad Hall. Not a massive fan of the snow though; a chap can get lost in that white stuff!

What would you like Father Christmas to bring you this year?
A brand new motor car. Perhaps a Ferrari!

David Tute, who stars as Tom in Tom’s Midnight Garden at the Bloomsbury theatre

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?                                          
The show is a wonderful, warm and witty interpretation of Philippa Pearce’s much-loved book. It’s a story of heart and imagination that can be enjoyed by audience members of all ages.

What is your favourite festive moment in the show?                                            
Not wanting to give anything away, I think I’d say the skating scene. It captures the essence of Christmas; joy, togetherness, and the importance of friendship and family.

Who will you be spending Christmas with and what will you be doing?                           
Living away from my family and friends for most of the year, it’s always lovely to spend time back home with the parents, probably eating far too much good food!

What are your top three favourite things about Christmas?                              
Family. Food. (And food).

Mr Polaro from Too Many Penguins at the Polka theatre

Why should families come and see your show this Christmas?
Mr Polaro loooooves to have company! And we can visit the lighthouse and go fishing and bake cakes and listen to music… and my whooooole family is coming to stay! The North Pole is the best place to have Christmas as its full of snow!

What’s your favourite Christmas film ever?
My favourite Christmas film is Happy Feet; I loooooove my penguin family dancing in the snow at Christmas!

Who will you be spending Christmas with and what will you be doing?
All my Penguin family are coming! Auntie Janet, Cousin Michael, Uncle Bob… and the little Bambiato!

What are your top three favourite things about Christmas?
Snow, snow and snow!

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