Our aim each Christmas is to present a classic children’s tale – for all the family – in a unique and original way with and for our Island community. Jersey Arts Centre has presented six community Christmas productions since 2016:
- Swallows & Amazons / 2021 / 1,281 attendances (with 125 capacity due to covid)
- My Family and Other Animals / 2020 / 349 attendances (with 20 capacity due to covid)
- A Christmas Carol / 2019 / 3,079 attendances
- The Wind in the Willows / 2018 / 3,052 attendances
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe / 2017 / 3,511 attendances
- Arabian Nights / 2016 / 1,012 attendances
Our extraordinary company of committed, concentrated and skilled actors, is drawn from both our Junior Drama and youtheatre groups, and also includes adult actors.
Planning and pre-production always begins in late spring with Graeme Humphries, one of our Deputy Directors, agreeing to the set and lighting design and Nick Carver, our Marketing Manager, taking on board the costume design.
Bertrand Larmet and Veronique Martinez of Art’Comedia in L’Hermitage, Brittany, are invited at this time to be our Musical Directors and Vocal Coach, especially after their beautiful work on previous shows.
Our Director, Daniel Austin, has directed all six productions to date.
The month of October is spent rehearsing and creating Act I and the month of November is spent creating Act II. There are two evening rehearsals a week and a rehearsal all day on Sundays.
Hettie Duncan, our Education and Outreach Coordinator, also delivers a series of drama workshops throughout November on themes, issues, storytelling and theatre for year 4 and year 5 students across the Island’s primary schools.
The feedback from audiences and families has been overwhelmingly positive, with the scripts, characters, stories and music entertaining all during the festive season.
Here are just a handful of quotes from our actors:
It was great to be a part of something so energetic and focused.
No idea is dismissed and it makes us feel like we have ownership.
Everyone is so welcoming; it’s like having a second family.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Rod McLoughlin, in his Jersey Evening Post review on 11 December 2019, enjoyed the commitment, energy and ideas of ‘A Christmas Carol’:
…an extraordinary blend of theatrical styles… Part ensemble piece, part musical, part choral theatre, part poetic fantasy, it flows easily from one style of story-telling to another, ‘playing with words, voices, music and action’, as the programme note puts it… some extraordinarily moving moments… Underpinning the narrative is a sequence of carols that reinforces not just the atmosphere but also the spiritual message of the piece… you could not ask for more expressive, yet unobtrusive musicians…
Rod McLoughlin also reviewed ‘Swallows & Amazons’ and in his review of 13 December 2021, he wrote:
Slick staging and polished performances make this year’s Christmas production from Jersey Arts Centre – Swallows and Amazons – just the festive treat you have been looking for… So engrossing has the experience been that it comes as quite a shock at the end to be reminded of that real world beyond the auditorium doors…
Watch this Space! for the announcement of our 2022 Christmas show!
Please see Jersey Arts Centre’s Safeguarding Policy – on our Policies page – for all relevant information.