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BWW Review: WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS Online, The Actors Church

The Christmas variety show features an all-star line-up, presented by Denise Welch

BWW Review: WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS Online, The Actors Church

BWW Review: WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS Online, The Actors ChurchWith Christmas plans suddenly disrupted for many people in the UK, We Need A Little Christmas, available online at Stream.Theatre, is the perfect way to spend an hour or so.

Hosted by TV's Denise Welch, the Christmas variety concert was filmed live at The Actors' Church in London's Covent Garden. The concert is in aid of Shelter and Crisis at Christmas.

It almost feels like you're attending the concert with Welch, who walks us into the sanctuary and invites us to enjoy some festive music with her. Welch and Amy Hart pitch in with occasional introductions and anecdotes, creating a nice cosy and friendly feel.

Sophie Isaacs opens with a sweet rendition of "We Need A Little Christmas." Directed and staged by Michael Strassen, the concert makes good use of the church's features, dressed beautifully with a mountain of red parcels - designed by Andrew Exter and video editing by Ben Bull.

Some of the stars are ably accompanied on piano by musical director George Carter, such as Sheila Ferguson's version of "The Christmas Song". Kevin Clinton delivers a high energy performance of "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" with some fabulous footwork in tow.

Charlie Kristensen, the face of the #CheerUpCharlie campaign, gives a sweet performance of "Peace On Earth" and Sally Ann Triplett, Max Milner, Grace Milner provide us with lovely harmonies and acoustic vibes with their cover of Coldplay's "Christmas Lights".

The variety show doesn't just consist of musical numbers, Simon Callow shared a reading of Dickens' "A Christmas Dinner" and Maureen Lipman performs a sketch to delight audiences.

There really is something for everyone. The Vivienne, from Ru Paul's Drag Race, performs "Jingle Bell Rock" and Brenda Edwards give a soulful rendition of "O Holy Night".

Cassidy Janson treats us to a cheeky performance of "Santa Baby", followed by her & Juliet co-star, David Bedella. He precedes his sincere performance of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" with a sweet story about how important the song is to his mother, and it's certainly a song that will take on a new meaning for many in 2020.

With many of our favourite performers scattered across the UK at the moment, the show includes some performances filmed from home, such as Christine Allado singing "Silent Night" and Jodie Prenger performing "White Christmas".

Not to give away every performance on the all-star line-up, the final few numbers feature Lee Mead and the West End Gospel Choir, including his new single, "In My Arms For Christmas".

The sound quality distorts a little in some of the bigger numbers, but otherwise, the Christmas variety concert translates well from stage to screen. If you have a favourite Christmas song, it's almost definitely on the setlist of this delightful show.

We Need a Little Christmas available to view online until 1 January 2021

Check out our interview with Lee Mead about his Christmas single, "In My Arms For Christmas"


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