There’s nothing like a Christmas concert, is there? Wrapping up warm and watching some incredibly talented people perform festive favourites is always a staple of the year and something that is guaranteed to get you in a jolly mood. This year we might not be able to go out to enjoy it in person but as 2020 has proved, the show must go on – so Christmas concerts have moved online. One example of this is the recently filmed ‘We Need A Little Christmas’.
Filmed at the beautiful Actors Church in Covent Garden, the show gathers together stars of stage and screen for performances of songs old and new. Traditional favourites such as ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ are paired with more modern songs such as Coldplay’s ‘Christmas Lights’ and a brand new original song from Lee Mead in the shape of ‘In My Arms For Christmas’.
The talent on hand to tackle these classic songs is second to none. There’s a double helping of &Juliet stars with David Bedella delivering a beautiful rendition of ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ and the incredible Cassidy Janson delivering a sassy and sultry version of ‘Santa Baby’.
The line up is more diverse than solely musical theatre performers - RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne makes an appearance for ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, Strictly dancer Kevin Clifton proves there is more than one string to his bow with song and cance number ‘Rocking around the Christmas tree’. There is even a Charles Dickens reading from Simon Callow and a performance from Dame Maureen Lipman.
Directed by Michael Strassen who also gave us the incredible Godspell online concert this year, the show is anchored by TV legend Denise Welch, inexplicably assisted by Love Island contestant Amy Hart (who thankfully isn’t faced with the burden of safety measures such as Perspex screens – we all know how much she hates those) to piece together the various performances.
There are too many highlights in this show to name individually but some of the standout moments include Brenda Edwards showcasing her incredible vocals on a stunning ‘O Holy Night’, Sharon Rose inducing goosebumps with ‘Mary Did You Know’, Sally Ann Triplett teaming up with her children for a surprisingly emotional performance and, fresh from stealing the show with his incredible performance in Rent, Dom Hartley-Harris for a rousing ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’.
As sad as it is that we can’t get together for concerts like this in person this festive season, this really is the next best thing. Placing you in the action, this is a highly enjoyable 75 minutes which is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. As Sophie Isaacs sings on the song the name is named after – ‘We Need A Little Christmas’ – and Lord knows after the year we have all had, we definitely do. So settle down, pour yourself a cup (or bottle… or twelve) of mulled wine and enjoy the festivities on hand.
‘We Need A Little Christmas’ is available to view on https://www.stream.theatre from Sunday 20th December until Friday 1st January. Proceeds from the concert will raise money for Shelter and Crisis For Christmas.