Every year, for as long as we can remember, Southport & Area Schools Worker Trust has created a touring production for primary schools at Christmas time. It’s always one of the highlights of our year: with lots of fun, dressing up, and a meaningful message.
Last year was slightly different… as you’d expect! Instead of touring around and filling up school assembly halls, we put a lot of time and resource into a quality video production called “A Very Merry Laughs-A-Plenty 2020 Christmas”, which gained a few thousand views on YouTube (where you can still watch it even today!) as well as being watched in primary schools by around 3000 pupils.
As great as it was to be able to create all that we did last year, it was AMAZING to be back this year touring the schools and offering this year’s production in-person. Especially because we got to see the excitement and enjoyment on the faces of 3,300 pupils as we performed the show 17 times!
This year’s production was titled “A Comically MARVELlous Christmas” and was full of superhero themed action, fun, games, lots of laughs, and of course, a meaningful Christmas message. The children got to participate in a classic superhero-style story, where hosts Chris Thomas (Tabz) and Christmas Carol (Hettie) enlist the help of superheroes (various video actors and animated characters) to stop the plot of the evil Christmas villain – “The Humbug” (also, Hettie!) – as she tried to get rid of Christmas by nicking off with all the commercialised festivity, decoration, presents & food. The only problem was that without all that stuff in the way, it gave “Captain Christmas”, the Christmassy superhero, the perfect opportunity to show “The Humbug” where Christmas all began – long before tinsel was invented. But did “Captain Christmas” succeed using this to change the heart of our nasty villain? If so, how? You’ll need to watch the video version to find out! What you can be sure of though, is that every school we visited is now full of mini-heroes sharing the love and kindness that Christians believe Jesus came to show to the world with their family and friends.
Seeing whole school halls of excited children, cheering, laughing and enthusiastically doing their superhero actions was such a joy. As is also being stopped in the street now everywhere we go to be told by children how much they enjoyed our show! The feedback from both pupils and staff has been great, with staff being particularly “wowed” by the use of technology, the hybrid mix of live acting and pre-recorded video, and some rather advanced software for live animated characters interacting with the children. Also, so many of the teachers straight away reiterated the main message and challenge that we brought to the children.
Of course, we were on the edge of our seats a little bit due to all the news of rising COVID cases, but only one school cancelled in the end, and another had to limit which year groups were together. The beauty of so much of the production being multimedia was that, using all the time and investment from last year, it wasn’t too big an extra job to pull together a full video of the whole production, which the schools that had to cancel us coming in were then able to watch in their classrooms. AND that also means, we’ve been able to put it all on YouTube too for you – our amazing supporters and followers to watch at your leisure! So sit back and enjoy some fun & wholesome entertainment for all the family this Christmas! (Click here to watch on YouTube, or view at the top of this blog post.)