Theatre: Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum save Christmas Dinner with online stream

Like theatres all over the Capital, the Royal Lyceum were devastated earlier this month when Covid forced them to bring the curtain down ahead of schedule on their seasonal show, Christmas Dinner.

Richard Conlon as Fruity, Florence Odumosu as Madame Lady, Elicia Daley as Leslie, Sita Pieraccini as Bird Girl and Ronan McMahon as Billy in Christmas Dinner
Richard Conlon as Fruity, Florence Odumosu as Madame Lady, Elicia Daley as Leslie, Sita Pieraccini as Bird Girl and Ronan McMahon as Billy in Christmas Dinner

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Now, however, there’s good news for Edinburgh ticket-holders and theatre lovers who were left disappointed by the closure; the production staged by the Lyceum and children’s theatre company Catherine Wheels was filmed and is being streamed online, now that live performances have been pulled.

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Christmas Dinner follows the story of stage manager Lesley, played by Elicia Daly.

After a horrible year, Lesley has decided that Christmas should be cancelled. The only festive joy she wants is the turkey sandwich in her lunch box. So she is shutting down the theatre, turning off the lights, packing up the glitter curtains, the giant beanstalk, the fake snow and going home to have dinner alone…

But as the bells of St Cuthbert’s strike twelve, it seems the theatre has other ideas… from the back of the costume cupboard, a troupe of festive spirits emerge with an absolute sack full of festive cheer.

Is this the last thing Lesley needs? Or can this strange Christmas Gang and their stories help her feel the magic of Christmas again?

Following the cancellation of the live performances of Christmas Dinner, the Lyceum will now share their feast of festive fun celebrating the power of community by making it available online until January 2, 2022.

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David Greig, Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum says, “It is sadly ironic that Christmas Dinner tells the story of a theatre which needs a Christmas show to bring it back to life.

"Now, Christmas is cancelled once again and so, for another year, the Bells of St Cuthbert’s will ring out on Christmas Day and The Lyceum will be empty. It’s enough to make you greet. But the good news is that the fabulous team at Catherine Wheels and The Lyceum have made a film of our show which we can share with everyone over the festive period.

“We know it’s not the same as it would have been to share the story in person but we know that the laughter, tears and excitement of everyone at home will travel over the internet, back down the wires at the Lyceum and onto the stage and the Grand Old Lady of Grindlay Street will feel just a little bit less lonely this Christmas.

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“As the glorious character of Fruity says in Christmas Dinner, ‘The spirits of the theatre are still strong’.”

Gill Robertson, who directed the production and is Artistic Director of Catherine Wheels adds, “Christmas Dinner was a joy to make, with a great company and crew and the fantastic support of the Lyceum. And although everyone is sad that we are unable to perform live I am so glad that the Lyceum made sure it was filmed.

"So, everyone can now eat their Christmas Dinner while watching Christmas Dinner... Bon Appetit.”

To watch simply go to Stream costs £10 or £15 for multiple viewers.

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