To save a Christmas tradition, a theatre company in Greenock is going above and beyond this year.
The expression “the show must go on” is given new significance by actors from No Nonsense Productions by recording their appearance on the main stage of the Beacon in Greenock and broadcasting it online.
“A Christmas Carol, A Radio Play on Stage” will be available for everyone to see this year, produced by the Beacon Arts Centre and No Nonsense Productions.
With a “pay what you decide” ticket policy, the company, which has been putting on a Christmas show for the past 8 years, plans to spread Christmas cheer again this year, making it available for free to schools and nursing homes.
In an exclusive conversation with Kevin Janetts, 36, artistic director, the cast’s dedication and the difficulties facing the production in the light of the pandemic of Covid 19 were clarified. He said, “We want as many people, regardless of their financial conditions, to enjoy the show as possible.”
We know that this has been an extremely stressful year for everyone, and we hope that ‘A Christmas Carol; A Stage Radio Play’ can provide some much-needed fun and escape.
“To see if we can better share the show with patients, we have also been in contact with local nursing homes. We have a limited number of show DVDs available free of charge to anyone who wants one.
The principle behind this is to make the show more available to those who does not have access to the internet.
Photograph; Amy O ‘Brien
“We hope the production will allow our audience to continue a Christmas tradition, albeit in a slightly different way.”
For many in the city, the production is already a tradition, as every year since 2012, No Nonsense Productions has put on a Christmas show in Greenock.
According to Jannetts, considering the previous success of the events at the Beacon – the last display in 2019 was totally sold out – the difficulties after the Covid 19 pandemic made the result more challenging than any previous year. “He said, “The complexity and thus the time frame were the greatest challenge.
We generally determine and begin working on a Christmas show much earlier in the year. At that point, we thought by December we could have had a small, socially distant audience.
If we could have done it that way, we would probably have proceeded.
That would have been a risk, of course, but we had the idea of shooting the show to reach as large an audience as possible, as well.
“We had a very short one-day rehearsal time. We also had only one shooting day and the smallest cast and crew possible.
We had risk analyses developed and rehearsal procedures developed. In the Beacon, we also rehearsed and acted and observed all protocols, including providing information for track and trace.
“The challenge for everyone involved was to remain responsive and flexible in the face of changing circumstances and constraints.”
“He added, “For the actors, it was an extraordinarily difficult year.
“The lack of a live audience is not ideal, especially given the nature of the show.”
I hope that the arts in Inverclyde will quickly recover and continue to flourish from the effects of COVID 19. The arts remain important, even though the pandemic was devastating.
“Speaking about the importance of the ongoing production to the local scene, Lisa McRuvie, Marketing Officer of Beacon Arts Theatre, said, “The radio plays on stage by No Nonsense Productions have become one of the great success stories of the holiday programmes of the Beacon Arts Centre and are much enjoyed by our audiences.
“Year after year, audiences come back to enjoy the sold-out radio plays, and they are traditions we all really miss this year in the absence of live performances,” he said.
“The shows have built a loyal following and we hope that by adapting the performance for the screen, audiences will keep the tradition going and watch at home with friends and family to experience the performance in a new way, for free, while we stay apart.”
More info can be found HERE about the production.