Traditional pantomime it is definitely not but if you are looking for somewhat alternative entertainment in the run up to Christmas, Red Ladder Theatre Company might have the answer. They are bringing a unique musical experience to the ‘Merrie City’ of Wakefield with the archipelago art collective’s lively production, ‘Santa Must Die!’ – an alternative festive kick-off for the West Yorkshire city’s audience.
Santa Must Die!
Featuring characters Nadia and Abed, the North’s renowned band ‘Santa Must Die!’ takes the stage for one night only, but with a twist. Christmas Eve reveals Santa as a bad boss, managing unending queues of entitled customers, offering minimum wage, no time off, and zero-hour contracts. The elves have had enough and decide It’s time for a riot.
Beth Knight from archipelago arts highlights the play’s inspiration from those working under challenging conditions during the festive season, shedding light on their often overlooked stories. ‘Santa Must Die!’ portrays the real-life elves working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a seamless yuletide season, with families to support and their own festivities forgotten.
Chris Lloyd, executive producer for Red Ladder, emphasises the company’s commitment to amplifying voices rarely heard and sharing stories often overlooked. ‘Santa Must Die!’ offers a fresh take on traditional Christmas tales while preserving the hope and joy needed, particularly during this time.
Sean Ryan of archipelago assures that ‘Santa Must Die!’ is the perfect alternative to conventional Christmas theatre, infusing anarchic fun to alleviate seasonal stress. With a gig setup allowing for riffing on favourite Christmas tunes and original songs, the play promises to be a lively addition to Christmas playlists.
Touring Wakefield and beyond
The show will tour Wakefield in the first week of December, hitting Queen’s Mill, Castleford on Monday 4th, The Grove Hall, South Kirkby on Saturday 9th, and The Cluntergate Centre, Horbury on Sunday 10th. Tickets are priced at just £5 and can be purchased from www.redladder.co.uk. The performances in Wakefield are funded by Wakefield Council.
‘Santa Must Die!’ contains some strong language and is suitable for age 14+. It features Rosie MacPherson’s writing, Sean Ryan’s music, and lyrics by Sean Ryan, Robin Ravi, and Laurence Young. Directed by Matt Powell, with original direction by Beth Knight and Laurence Young.
Red Ladder Theatre Company, renowned for 50 years, produces groundbreaking theatre for social change and global justice. Funded by Arts Council England and Leeds City Council. Archipelago arts collective creates impactful work exploring epic themes on local, community, and personal levels. Their productions unite people through daring and generous work, crafted for communities.