THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS Comes To Southwark Playhouse
Have you heard the one about the coked-up Christmas Scrooge, his grumpy best mate, a prostitute and an unruly Elf?
This isn't a weirdly dark Christmas cracker joke: it's Anthony Neilson's anarchic, anti-festive black comedy The Night Before Christmas, revived for the first time by director Alex Sutton with an all-star cast to take Southwark Playhouse by storm from 28 November - 29 December.
It's Christmas Eve. Gary's not feeling the Christmas spirit. He's promised his son some Power Ranger figures, but he hasn't quite found the time to deliver them, and now his ex-wife is on the attack...And that's not even the worst of it. Some tiny idiot has broken into his warehouse, and Gary is pretty sure this isn't just a festive coincidence; but with no-one else but his grouchy pal Simon to help him decide what to do, could Christmas be cancelled forever?
This hilarious and razor-edged comedy about finding the true spirit of Christmas is more than just a merry romp; it's an un-merry extravaganza jam-packed with drugs, debauchery and dirty jokes, all rolled in glitter. A brilliantly dark mash up of South Park and Miracle on 34th Street by way of Scrooged, Gary's story unfolds as he grapples with a big (or actually quite little) secret that may well save him and, more importantly, Christmas itself.
The production, an edgy and quite frankly ridiculous yuletide tale, stars Douggie McMeekin (currently filming Chernobyl on HBO) as bitter antihero Gary, Hollyoaks' Michael Salami as festive fun sucker Simon, Unique Spencer (2017 Spotlight Prize nominee) as single mother and prostitute Cherry and Dan Starkey (Doctor Who, Inside Number 9, Sheffield Crucible's Frost/Nixon) as the dishevelled, junkie Elf - because what Christmas show would be complete without one?
Directed by former National Theatre resident director Alex Sutton, The Night Before Christmas is equal parts screwed up and joyous - as the cast stick two fingers up at Sleigh Bells and stockings, recognising that Christmas can actually be a bit rubbish sometimes and that it may have lost its true meaning along the way....
Director Alex Sutton says "Neilson's funny and offensive comedy is a surprisingly warm-hearted antidote from the frivolity and sugar that goes hand in hand with the Christmas season. It pokes at the commercialisation of Christmas and the expectation for it to be the "perfect" time of the year."