Event Cost: £16/£10 GBP
West Acre, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE32 1UD, UK
For many years Westacre Theatre has painstakingly earned itself an enviable reputation of celebrating Christmas with its own specially written plays.
Building on that hard-earned tradition, one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies has just sustained a seismic seasonal shift from the original story, with resident dramatist Andy Naylor directing his own free-ranging adaptation of A Midwinter Night's Dream.
This year's delightfully absorbing show retains many of the Bard's beautifully descriptive passages. Some simplification of the story-line, however, really has enabled it to become completely appropriate as a festive treat for the whole family who will undoubtedly enjoy it on a variety of levels.
Servants from the 'big house' are planning to perform a Christmas play composed by the Duchess' daughter. So they meet secretly at night in the Westacre woods to rehearse before presenting it to the Duchess herself.
In the cast of intriguing actors is Mr Bumble (the beekeeper, would you believe?), Mr Flower (the gardener, of course) and Mrs Starch (the housekeeper). They are joined by Miss Sprout (the kitchen maid) and Miss Snuggles (the parlour maid). Trying to direct them and generally maintain some semblance of order is Miss Print (the secretary).
However, their promising performances are severely jeopardised by a mischievous spirit called Jac(sic) Frost. He inhabits the woods in Winter along with estranged sisters Ice Queen and Snow Queen. Consequently, rehearsals are thrown into confusion and severely compromised particularly by the arrival of a talking donkey!
Despite everything that happens in the woods, the show does thankfully go ahead in the Great Hall but, predictably perhaps, not quite as the Duchess' daughter might have reasonably expected.
If you would welcome a more meaningful alternative to the many pantomimes around and are curious to follow this truly enchanting and captivating tale then you simply need to sit back in the new and comfortable theatre seating. You can watch the servants act out the fun on the Westacre stage from Saturday 18 December to Christmas Eve.
Booking is online at www.westacretheatre.com or by you phoning on 01760 755800; be ready to leave a message and those nice people in the Theatre office will call you back to arrange some lovely seats for you. What could be better? The locally-produced ice creams in the interval, of course.