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Art and culture around the East during the festival period

  • Date: 4 December 2012
  • Area: South East
people sitting in a bus

Dial M for Murgatroyd, which will be appearing over the festive period, 2012. Credit: Mike Kwasniak

This winter sees a wonderful array of theatre productions and exhibitions to delight and dazzle children and adults alike, all supported through our National portfolio organisations or National Lottery funded Grants for the arts programme.

In the East there is plenty on offer over the festive period from your typical Christmas pantomime to a night of murder mystery or the spectacular alternative, hip hop dancing. Take a look below at just some of the events going on over the Christmas period and New Year.

Unwrap the magic of Christmas Spectacular! With the Co-op Juniors Theatre Company, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Fri 14 - Sun 23 December

Aldeburgh Music, an Arts Council National portfolio organisation, and its Snape Maltings Concert Hall venue, will stage a Christmas bonanza of compelling dance, music and adventure. Unwrap the magic of Christmas Spectacular! With a cast of 100, dazzling musical numbers, glittering spectacle and stunning effects, it's a Christmas treat for all the family. Its high energy and ever changing scenarios will have you on the edge of your seat. 

BBE: Legacy The Return, Boy Blue Entertainment, DanceEast, Jerwood Dancehouse,  Wed 12 - Sun 23 Dec

There won't be any Christmas lights or fat Santas in this production, but Boy Blue Entertainment will definitely provide a fine hip hop dance act in BBE: Legacy The Return has continued to wow audiences across the country. 

Having experienced huge success from choreographing dancers for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games opening ceremony, Boy Blue Entertainment return to the DanceHouse for a special dance performance over the Festive season.

Led by Kenrick 'H20' Sandy and Michael 'Mikey J' Asante, BBE are an Olivier Award-winning hip hop dance theatre company from London, which continues to develop and inspire hip hop dancers from grass roots to seasoned professionals.

TV appearances by members of BBE include: Got To Dance; Strictly Come Dancing; Street Dance 3D The Movie; So You Think You Can Dance and Alesha's Street Dance Stars. DanceEast is an Arts Council National portfolio organisation.

The Magician's Daughter, New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, Tue 04 - 05 Sat Jan 2013

Little Angel Theatre brings their trademark blend of puppetry and song to this captivating story of the adventures of a young girl on a magical faraway island. Written by former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen.

The rain won't stop - its drip, drip, dropping all the time.  Isabella just wants to go out and play but the storm rages, and now it is time for bed.  Her mother Miranda tells amazing stories of her time on an island, with her father Prospero and the comical creatures Ariel and Caliban. And so Isabella makes a plan to stop the rain by using Prospero's magic staff ...if only she could get to the island to find it. Staged in the New Wolsey Studio, an Arts Council National portfolio organisation, this is set to be a great spectacle. 

The DIY Nativity Show, The Junction, Cambridge, Tue 04 - Sun 30 Dec

The Junction, an Arts Council National portfolio organisation, will stage The DIY Nativity Show, a unique and interesting experience that differs from the usual Xmas pantomime.

This December join Bryony Kimmings, Sam Halmarack and Stuart Bowden as they battle to re-discover the joy of Christmas. This is an interactive show with the audience in charge - flat pack construction is one of the activities that is on the agenda amongst many others. This is a treat for all the family and will most certainly get you in the festive mood. There are also late night adult shows on the 12th and 19th December, starting at 9pm.

Mother Goose, Watford Palace Theatre, Fri 07 - Sat 29 Dec

The much-loved traditional tale in which Mother Goose discovers that real happiness doesn't come from riches or beauty, and there is more to Priscilla the Goose than her ability to lay golden eggs - or win the Eggs-Factor!

Watford Palace Theatre, an Arts Council National portfolio organisation, are delighted to welcome back local star Terence Frisch, following his fantastic performance as Dame Trott last year, in this brand-new show, packed with music, fun and laughter for everyone from five to 85.

Dial M for Murgatroyd, performed in Ipswich, Woodbridge and Peterborough,  Fri 30 Nov - Sat 02 Feb 2013

Eastern Angles brings you Dial M for Murgatroyd, a murder mystery puzzle that will definitely have you pondering who the killer could possibly be. Reminiscent of the classic board game Cluedo, Join Eastern Angles for a country house murder mystery featuring pompous Major Fitzall, his batty bohemian wife, their feeble son and host of other madcap characters.

There's a beast at large in the woods and the annual horticultural show is looming but the impossibly posh Fitzall family have more pressing things on their minds. Perhaps it's time to Dial M for Murgatroyd? Eastern Angles is a Arts Council National portfolio organisation.

Nigel Henderson & Eduardo Paolozzi: Hammer Prints Limited 1954 - 1975, firstsite, Sat 08 Dec - Sun 24 Dec

Based on original research, this exhibition will chart the history of Hammer Prints within the context of their broader artistic output and other collaborations such as the exhibitions, Parallel of Life and Art (Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1953) and This is Tomorrow (Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1956).

A comprehensive display of original Hammer Prints articles will be supplemented by hitherto unseen working material such as source imagery, sketches, screens, test sheets and other ephemera. Documentation of the designs in domestic interiors and Henderson's own photography of the artists at the studio will also feature in the exhibition

Jack and the Beanstalk, Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Fri 07 Dec - Sat 12 Jan 2013

A true classic and brought to you by Mercury Theatre, an Arts Council National portfolio organisation, this show will be brimming with laughter, song, dance and adventure, this fantastic tale of giants, princesses, magic beans and ice cream will leave you feeling on top of the world!

Brought to you by 'Diamond Jubilee' Queen of Panto, Janice Dunn, and Company favourites, including Ignatius Anthony, Clare Humphrey and Dale Superville.

Rapunzel, Luton Library Theatre, Luton,  Sat 15 - Fri 28 Dec

Returning to Luton after the success of last year's The Snow Dog, family theatre innovators Full House are back with their vibrant and brand new adaptation of Rapunzel, the classic children's story.

This epic and poetic twist on an old tale follows the high spirited Rapunzel on her turbulent journey as she turns her mother's world upside down. Cursed by a sorceress and trapped in a tower Rapunzel has her own ideas about life which don't quite fit the mould.

Expect larger than life characters, bouncing bunnies, funky toe tapping musical numbers and much more. Full House Theatre received £76,960 Grants for the arts funding and their work is created predominantly for children, young people and their families.