Mon 27 Nov 2023

Leicester’s Curve theatre is set to create a magical experience for children and young people at Rainbows Hospice with special streamed performances of its upcoming festive family production, The Owl Who Came For Christmas.

Running at the theatre Saturday 2 December to Saturday 6 January, the world premiere Made at Curve stage production is based on the picture book by John Hay with illustrations by Garry Parsons, and published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

In December, Curve will stream The Owl Who Came For Christmas free of charge to children and young people living with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, who would otherwise not be able to attend a performance in-person at Curve.

The show will be filmed and edited by award-winning creative video agency Crosscut, with children, young people, and their families and carers set to enjoy watching the production in Rainbows’ specially adapted cinema room.

Nishil Saujani, Acting Director of Supporter Relations and Marketing at Rainbows, said:

“This is a really wonderful thing for our babies, children and young people at Rainbows to be able to experience. This special screening makes it fully inclusive for everyone to enjoy the magic of Christmas. We would like to thank all those at the Curve for making this possible.”

Crosscut’s previous work with Curve includes the acclaimed streamed productions of Sunset Boulevard and The Color Purple, as well as rehearsal and production trailers for shows including The Wizard of Oz, A Chorus Line and Billy Elliot.

Dan Flanders, Director of Crosscut said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Curve and Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People on this very special project. The ability to bring this theatre show in a digital format to the young people and families who use the hospice’s services is a fantastic opportunity and we can’t wait to get started! Personally, as a sibling of someone who once used the hospice, it’s absolutely lovely that as a business we can give something back.”

Ideal for young children aged three and above, after Saturday 9 December, all in-person performances of The Owl Who Came For Christmas will be adapted as Relaxed Performances, offering a more relaxed environment to provide as many children and families the chance to enjoy the production.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“Christmas is always a special time for us at Curve as we welcome many children and families – often for their first ever experience of theatre. This year, we are delighted to be working alongside the inspirational staff at Rainbows and our collaborators Crosscut to bring this inventive and beautiful show to young people who aren’t able to join us in-person, ensuring they enjoy a magical Christmas at Curve experience at Rainbows.

“Our thanks to the entire The Owl Who Came For Christmas company, the team at Rainbows, Crosscut, co-producing partners Norwell Lapley Productions, and all those who have helped to bring together plans for this special screening.”

The Owl Who Came For Christmas features local Leicester and East Midlands cast members Mary Bonam, Camille Burnett, Oliver Stanley and Annabelle Terry, who will bring the festive tale to life with music and puppetry.

Co-produced by Curve with Norwell Lapley Productions (NLP), the production is adapted for the stage by writer, performer and Curve Creative Programmes Practitioner Chandni Mistry (Ruka: Finding Home: Leicester’s Ugandan Asian Story at 50; Roti Moon). The Owl Who Came For Christmas will be directed by Curve’s Artist Development and New Work Producer, Cara Nolan (Road), with new music composed by Curve Resident Creative Jude Taylor and set, costume and puppetry designed by Abby Clarke. Curve Resident Creative Stacey McCarthy will choreograph the show, with lighting and sound design by respective Curve technical team members Jonathan Payne and Angel Rossell de Pablos. Casting is by late Curve Associate Kay Magson CDG.

Inspired by a true story of the real Rosie the Owl who lost her way, see how a loving family help save Rosie, the tiny owl who really did come for Christmas, and return her to her forest home.

The family carried the tree to their car and tied it to the roof.

Rosie felt the car moving and heard the sounds of the city.

“Where am I?” wondered Rosie. “This is not my forest.”

When a family are putting up their new Christmas tree, hidden amongst the decorations is a secret visitor, snuggled in the branches.

‘Mum, look! . . .  There’s a bauble moving in the tree!’

Tickets for The Owl Who Came For Christmas at Curve are on sale now. To find out more, visit, call 0116 242 3595 or visit Curve’s Box Office in-person.

Inspired by a true story and first published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2022, the Made at Curve production of The Owl Who Came For Christmas will be suitable for children aged 3+.