Barry McCarthy will star as Father Christmas in the Lyric Hammersmith’s forthcoming adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ festive classic.
The first ever stage production of the hugely successful children’s picture book, theatre company Pins And Needle’s family show will play from 30 November until 5 January with live music and puppetry helping to bring the story alive.
McCarthy, who is presumably busy growing a bushy white beard and filling up on mince pies and chocolate advent calendars in order to have a belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly, boasts more than 200 stage and screen credits from his career that has spanned five decades.
The actor’s most recent stage appearances include King Lear at the Almeida theatre, A Round-Heeled Woman at the Aldwych theatre, The White Guard at the National Theatre and The Canterbury Tales and As You Like It at the RSC. On screen the ultimate present-giver-to-be’s credits include Notes On A Scandal, Kinky Boots, Peak Practice and Holby City.
Briggs’ story of the year Father Christmas awakes from a dream of summer sun only to realise that it is Christmas Eve is just one of the festive offerings the Lyric Hammersmith has on offer this winter. From 24 November families can also watch The Great British Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc star alongside Steven Webb and Julie Atherton in Cinderella, the venue’s pantomime.