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Complete Commedia Christmas Carol spreads festive cheer

21st December 2021
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

The Complete Commedia Company is celebrating after its new production A Commedia Christmas Carol played to packed houses in Orsett and Stifford Clays, bringing festive cheer and kicking off the season of goodwill.

The Complete Commedia Company’s retelling of Dickens’ best loved tale, A Christmas Carol, proved to be a great success with full houses for its performances at St Cedds Church, Stifford Clays, and St Giles and All Saints Church, Orsett. This was the Thurrock based professional theatre company’s first ever Christmas production and the venues were suitably atmospheric for the ghostly tale. The cast of five used the setting of the churches to great effect and summoned up the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future in true comedic style.

Bernadette Wakeling, founder and artistic director of the Complete Commedia Company said “From the mulled wine and mince pies at the beginning, to the party hats and Christmas cracker jokes at the end, everyone joined in with the festive spirit. The response to the show was fantastic. The audiences loved it and we had a brilliant time seeing their faces and hearing the reactions from the different generations of families that joined us, proving how right we were to bring it to Thurrock communities.”

A Commedia Christmas Carol was a pilot production for future community work. The Complete Commedia Company runs a successful Theatre in Education programme, usually working in schools across Thurrock and through this connection with young people, the Company has seen the lack of opportunity for them to experience art and culture, especially live performance, in their own area. Wanting to change this, the Christmas show was developed. The churches were chosen as venues to offer an alternative to the traditional theatre setting, making the performances more accessible and helping to reach communities the Company has not worked with before.

Katie Beadle, producer, Complete Commedia Company said “We met the challenges of Covid this year by creating one-way systems, social distancing and bubbling seating in the venues. It was really well received and we were pleased that audiences came out in force and were able to enjoy the show whilst feeling safe. We want to build on the success of this project and look for more funding and support so we can be back bigger and better with more performances, in more places, for more people next year.”

Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price attended the performance at St Cedds and said it had ‘kicked off Christmas’ for her.

Schoolyard Scenarios

To see more of what the Complete Commedia Company does, go to the website: Here can be view the Schoolyard Scenarios documentary showing the work the company brought to schools across Thurrock in the summer. 

Image: Mark Massey