Festive Doorstep Stories

Traditional carol singing meets story Deliveroo!

This charming and delightful event ran from 10th December to 19th December 2020. Our tiny household audiences loved it.

“Our Festive Story evening was a triumph.”

“Loved it – so good to see a live performance – and our actor was great and the stories splendid.”

“It was such fun – Kirsty was brilliant! A very special thing that’s got us in a festive mood.”

With the firm belief that Christmas should be special whatever was going on in the world outside, Word teamed up with regular collaborators Kilter Theatre to bring brand new festive stories written by local writers, read by professional actors, direct to the front doors of Bath. Households within 4 mile radius of Bath Abbey gathered up their loved ones, heated up some mince pies, poured themselves a glass of sherry, and cosied up for their very own private story performance.

We curated a Twelve Stories of Christmas Menu of very special festive tales. All of our stories offered a warm, feel-good glow to keep out the chill as the days get darker. We also offered Telephone Tinsel Tales for those who lived too far from Bath to get a personal visit.  Audiences bought a ticket and snuggled up in their armchairs to listen to their own private stories.  This was our menu:

Twelve Stories of Christmas: Menu

I Will If You Will by Mark Rutterford

“Dear Santa, I know I probably shouldn’t be writing to you aged thirty four but….”

More Love Actually than Love Actually – this sugar-sweet Christmas rom com will put a bit of sparkle in your glass of sherry.

 

The Sloth Who Saved Christmas by Katie Dancey-Downs 

“She was a sloth with dreams, a sloth with ambition, a sloth who wanted to see the world.”

When Sloth sees a poster advertising jobs with Santa Claus, she thinks it is the answer to her dreams, but she has not anticipated how fast things will move at the North Pole. For those of us who appreciate the slow things in life, this is an utterly delightful, warm, comedic tale for all the family.  Suitable for under-10s.

 

Flapjacks A-Plenty by Robert Garnham 

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a cappuccino-flavoured flapjack. I say ‘true love’, he was actually the man upstairs, the one who has a face that could rival the angels and a flat that smelled of beef-flavoured crisps.”

Twelve days of Christmas in flapjacks. From the self-styled ‘Professor of Whimsy’, this funny, charming story is for anyone who has ever fancied the bloke upstairs, particularly if that bloke has blond hair,  a winning smile and an ability to belch the theme tune to Match of the Day.

 

The Christmas Spirits by Piers Pennington 

“Could I do a week playing all four ghosts in A Christmas Carol as the original actor had gone down with tonsilitis and they had no understudy? It was the kind of part that usually came my way, based on my main thespian attribute, a good memory.”

We go backstage at A Christmas Carol, which is playing at a dilapidated end-of-the-pier theatre. It’s hardly the National, and our actor weighs up his options along with the ghostly parts he’s playing.

 

Christmas Star by Sherry Morris

“I wouldn’t like to mention this,” Mrs. Henderson from next door said to my mom, “But your Christmas decorations are a bit too… non-standard this year. I’m not sure the neighbourhood appreciates it.” 

Kenny’s ‘non-standard’ Christmas lights are drawing complaints from the neighbours but is it Kenny’s fault? Set in the States, this is a highly amusing tale of families and neighbourhood relations.  Mild sex references.

 

Wishing, Hoping and Praying by Alison Clink

“I wish. I wish I could be as big as you!” Mummy presses her fingers to her lips.

“Shush, sweetheart,” she says. “You mustn’t say your wish out loud, or it will never come true.”

Once a year, Mum gets out the big bowl. She gathers the currents and the sultanas, the flour and the rum, the butter and the sugar to make the Christmas cake. Once a year, you get to stir the cake and make a wish.  A gentle, warm story about family and building Christmas traditions.

 

A White Christmas by Clare Reddaway 

“Here she was, the car head first in a ditch, at the wrong end of the very long track which was under a foot of snow.  And it was Christmas Eve.”

Jess is trying to make this Christmas perfect for her kids for all kinds of reasons, but what with one thing and another her country idyll is not working out.  A chilly tale of family, lone parenthood and snow.

 

A Caribbean Christmas Magic by Morag Shackerley-Bennett

“I’ll be fine” she’d insisted to her parents, “who wouldn’t want to be spending Christmas in the Caribbean?”. She’d tried to allay their fears of her loneliness, of how she wouldn’t be with family or friends. “You do know Christmas was banned in Cuba until 1997? It’s going to be very different.”

A gentle portrait of Christmas in Cuba, for those who cannot be with their loved ones this Christmas.

 

A Christmas Song by Stephanie Weston 

“As I approached my front door I noticed a strange figure standing nearby in the street….

wearing a long, white robe. A ghostly light seemed to emanate from them but I couldn’t see anything in the way of a lamp or a candle. I wondered if I should have accepted that third glass of sherry.”

What if the Ghost of Christmas Past has got the wrong man? The barmaid at the Quill and Eiderdown is determined that is not going to happen.  This comedy plays fast and loose with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Georgia Stride          

‘So, Nordmann or Fraser Fir?’ Dad’s attempt at normal conversation should have been comforting but his voice betrayed a sadness all too familiar and I couldn’t bring myself to answer.

It’s the first Christmas since Granny died. The family are still upset, but through Christmas traditions like choosing the Christmas tree they begin to see a way forward. This moving family story is about healing after pain.

 

Rudolph’s Dilemma by Christine Roberts

“Deep, low sobs came from his portly body….Had he finally assessed the facts and realised he was indeed in the ‘at extreme risk’ category?”

When Rudolph realises that Santa should be shielding, he decides that Christmas 2020 is going to have be organised in a very different way. This satire pokes fun at contemporary life as well as speculating on one unexpected impact of corona virus.

 

Robin Hood and the Rule of Six by Clare Reddaway 

“I have a number of points I would like to address, Mr Hood,” he said and smiled at his green clad audience. “ I am here to notify you that you are contravening the current guidance on the rule of six, and as such, you are liable for what might be termed a hefty fine.”

Are Robin Hood and his Merry Men adhering to national guidelines on the plague? An official visits from Nottingham to make sure that this priority need group are aware of their obligations. But what on earth are the outlaws going to do about Christmas? This satire pokes fun at the new rules and regulations… of 1220.