Soho theatre
Soho theatre

Soho premieres Neilson’s Christmas musical

Published September 12, 2013

Anthony Neilson’s musical take on the classic festive story The Night Before Christmas will premiere at the Soho theatre this winter, adding to a jam-packed season of new writing and returning favourites.

Directed by the venue’s Artistic Director Steve Marmion, The Night Before Christmas will play from 29 November (press night 5 December) until 5 January, giving the iconic story a contemporary, dark, adult twist.

With music by Soho theatre regular Tom Mills, the production promises lashings of that “powered Christmas feeling” and centres on warehouse owner Gary. It’s Christmas Eve and someone is breaking in when Gary, dressed as an elf, starts to wonder if he isn’t really actually an elf on closer inspection.

The creative trio behind the forthcoming musical, who have so far penned songs for the tale entitled Not An Elf, The Filthybusiness Song and Boo F*ucking Hoo, are no strangers to working with one another, having collaborated on Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats Of Loneliness at the venue in 2009 and again in 2011 for Realism, the show that opened Marmion’s first season at the helm of the theatre.

In the run up to the festive season, Soho theatre will reprise Joe Murphy’s critically acclaimed drama Blink. The show, which Time Out described as “a weird, funny play that offers a compellingly mad take on the isolation of modern urban living”, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012 and transferred to the Soho theatre in September.

Returning to the West End venue following a season in India as part of Soho theatre’s innovative partnership with Bangalore’s Jagriti theatre, Phil Porter’s dysfunctional, voyeuristic love story centring on the relationship between two misfits, Jonah and Sophie, will play from 11 December to 11 January.

Speaking about the month of drama, Marmion commented: “This December we are thrilled to offer an incredible mix of the most entertaining, experimental and important new work. We lead with work that we’ve created with two of the UK’s most talented playwrights, a new dark and delicious Christmas musical from the brilliantly distinctive Anthony Neilson, and a tour that takes the best of British new writing as far as India from fast-rising star Phil Porter.”   

The festive offerings join the Soho theatre’s already busy autumn/winter season. Just some of the highlights coming up over the next three months include The Wrong Crowd’s dark folk story Hag (1 to 20 October), Bryony Kimmings’ new show Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model (8 to 26 October), Dancing Brick’s take on the oldest poem in the English language Perle (22 October to 3 November) and Clean Break’s return to the Soho theatre with Billy The Girl (29 October to 24 November).

Visit the Soho theatre website for details of its full autumn/winter season.