This December, national treasure Sandi Toksvig will be bringing laughter, carols and the joy of Christmas from the Globe Theatre in an online film premiere of Christmas at the (Snow) Globe from Monday 21 December. To help share the Christmas cheer with as many people as possible, the Globe are offering all UK care homes and children's hospitals Christmas at the (Snow) Globe for free. This film is based on the 2019 production which was written and directed by Sandi Toksvig and Jenifer Toksvig. Pip Broughton joins to direct this film adaptation which will be available until 5 January, runs at approximately 45 minutes, and is being shot on location at the Globe, currently closed to the public due to lockdown.
Online audiences across the world will be invited to don their best ugly Christmas jumper, pour a mug of eggnog and join the Globe on Twitter @The_Globe for some festive cheer with the #SnowGlobe watch party from 6.30pm on Monday 21 December.
Sandi is well known to UK audiences as a broadcaster, with television credits including celebrated series Call My Bluff (as regular team captain) and Whose Line Is It Anyway? She took over from Stephen Fry as host of QI, BBC2’s fiendishly difficult and hugely popular quiz, and she and Noel Fielding were co-hosts of The Great British Bake Off until 2019. She tours her one-woman live show The National Trevor Show in 2021, and her new book ‘Toksvig’s Almanac 2021: An Eclectic Meander Through the Historical Year’, was published this month.
For a decade Sandi was a familiar voice for BBC Radio 4 listeners as the chair of The News Quiz which led to her induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. Much of Sandi’s time is devoted to writing, with more than 20 fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults to her credit. Her adaptation of Mamma Mia! The Party opened at London’s O2 in 2019. Sandi is an activist for gender equality, and in 2014 she co-founded the Women’s Equality Party.
Christmas at the (Snow) Globe:
“A child stands in our wooden ‘O’ waiting for the show to begin but something’s not quite right. The theatre is bare. Where are the players, the audience and stewards? Fear not – the Snow Globe gang are not going to let anything stop them from giving the child, and everyone at home the gift of theatre, especially at Christmastime! Pull on a festive jumper, gather your loved ones as close as social distancing will allow, and watch the company restore the magic of Christmas. Filled with classic Christmas songs, get ready to sing along and join us in turning every household into a winter wonderland.”
Throughout December the Globe is releasing a free advent calendar with a daily dose of advent joy full of festive food, fun, song and stories: including ‘Amazing Peace’ by Maya Angelou read by Dona Croll, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ performed by Sophie Stone, and ‘Tilly’s Christmas’ by Louisa May Alcott read by Helen Schlesinger.
Since closing its doors to the public in March, the Globe has been reaching audiences internationally. Filmed productions were released over YouTube and received over 3.3 million views across 137 countries. The Globe was most recently awarded the maximum grant from the Government’s Cultural Relief Fund, enabling the organisation to plan confidently for the future. Over the summer the site was open to the public for a new guided tour of the theatre, with visitors being invited up onto the stage for the very first time. There were also sold-out workshops and the brand-new ‘Story Tour’ for families visiting in a Covid-secure environment. Online, audiences have enjoyed Shakespeare’s works via projects such as ‘Love in Isolation’ featuring Stephen Fry, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Sandi and Jenifer Toksvig, and digital festivals filmed from the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, transformed into a broadcast studio. The festivals ‘Shakespeare and Race’, and ‘Shakespeare and Fear’ featured content such as a brand-new documentary on Romeo and Juliet with Alfred Enoch and Rebekah Murrell, and a semi-staged reading of Macbeth with Michelle Terry and Paul Ready, back in their critically acclaimed roles from 2018.
Recognising the needs of these times, the Globe’s education department moved online helping to support families, teachers, and students of all ages. Over lockdown, the Globe launched online family sessions ‘Telling Tales Together’ with live and interactive events with families joining all around the world including Malta, Germany, Mexico, Australia, USA, Switzerland, The Seychelles, France, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore & India. The Globe's Higher Education programme converted its provision of university and drama school courses to an online programme, working with students in the USA, Saudi Arabia and across the UK. Online study workshops helped support teenagers missing out on school and direct interaction with teachers. As part of anti-racist approaches to Shakespeare, there were newly created workshops for children and students. Teaching for the popular Globe/King's College London MA in Shakespeare Studies moved online, and the Globe has, with King's, received funding for a co-supervised doctoral student who is working on matters of race and Shakespeare. Online teacher training from the Globe’s education department has worked with teachers from Greece, China and the United States. In December, the Globe is to launch a Scholars of Colour network.
The iconic Globe Theatre and candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse have also played host to a livestream of James Bay in concert, BBC Sound of 2020 musician Arlo Parks performing on Sky Arts, and the coveted dance partner reveal on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.