Family Christmas at Hampstead

Published June 30, 2009

Hampstead theatre’s 50th anniversary season will be rounded off by two family shows: a visit from Charlie and Lola and a ghost story by Michael Punter.

Charlie and Lola, the brother and sister stars of the books by Lauren Child and the accompanying BBC TV series, will be let loose on stage in Charlie And Lola’s Best Bestest Play, which runs at Hampstead theatre over the Christmas period, from 10 December to 2 January.

Charlie And Lola’s Best Bestest Play was first seen last year at Polka theatre, which produces the show along with BBC Worldwide.

Aimed at young theatregoers aged three to six, the show uses a mix of puppets, music and 3D designs to bring sensible Charlie and his naughty sister Lola to life on stage. Drawing on Child’s books and the best episodes of the TV series, the story sees Charlie trying to get his sister to go to sleep, even though she is not sleepy and won’t go to bed, especially when there are tigers, ogres and whales about.

Meanwhile, older children and families will be entertained by Punter’s shadowy tale Darker Shores, which plays from 3 December to 16 January.

Julian Rhind-Tutt (Green Wing) and Mark Gatiss (The League Of Gentlemen) star in this spooky story set at Christmas 1875 when Professor Gabriel Stokes takes lodgings at The Sea House on the East Sussex coast. After a number of unexplained and mysterious happenings, he enlists the help of American spiritualist Tom Beauregard and together they embark on a terrifying journey to discover the truth.

The two seasonal offerings form part of the second half of Hampstead theatre’s 50th anniversary season, which also includes What Fatima Did…, a play by 20-year-old Atiha Sen Gupta, a long-term member of the theatre’s young company. Gupta’s play is set in and around a secondary school after the summer holidays and explores the consequences of one girl’s decision to wear the Hijab.

CB

Recent Buzz