It will look a lot like a
wintry New York from days gone by in the New Hall in Tiverton this week -
thanks to the efforts of the Willow Tree Theatre Company.
The 40-strong cast plus crew and supporters have spent the last few
days putting the finishing touches to their latest festive-flavoured show,
which began its run last night (Monday, November 30th).
The company will be hoping to repeat the all-singing, all-dancing
success of 'Hood - The Musical', a funky take on the story of Robin Hood,
which was a huge hit with audiences last year.
This year the company is staging its version of 'It's Beginning To
Look A Lot Like Christmas' which is based on the feel-good movie 'Miracle On
The key roles are that of Susan Walker, played by ten-year-old
Emily Searle, and Kris Kringle, who is played by Adrian Garland.
The film was set in the Big Apple and centred on the Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade where there is still a place for the true spirit of
Christmas in the face of the cynical forces of commercialism.
Producer Steve Gage said: "This is probably the most
Christmas-themed show we have produced at Willow Tree. The cast have
been working on their American accents and there is also dialogue in
authentic Dutch. We have been working in rehearsals at Tiverton High
School, and they have a teacher who is Dutch, he made sure the dialogue was
Steve said the company
prided itself on offering good value for money and prices for this year's
show are only slightly higher than they were a decade ago.
Technicians have been working hard to put together the set for the
2009 production, which includes a revolving section in the centre of the
Another challenge has been conveying the sheer scale of a
three-hour parade that attracts millions of prime-time American television
And the crew is hoping for a similar reaction from audiences to the
praise heaped on last year's impressive woodland glen stage setting and
realistic fight scenes.
By Richard Wevill