It was the first time that I have been served Mulled Wine and Mince Pies as part of a performance (other companies please note!) and it set everyone in a happy mood for a series of songs and sketches. The stage was appropriately decorated with an impressive Christmas Tree, a piano, a fire place and a comfy armchair - a warm sight for a cold evening.
Some aspects of the evening were more successful than others - one-off events such as these could always benefit from a little extra time - but overall the standard was high and the audience more than happy.
From my point of view, there were a couple of stand-out performances during the evening - Emrys Matthews has an excellent singing voice and gave great renditions of Tom Lehrer's classic 'A Christmas Carol' and a work by a lesser known pairing of Maltby and Shire entitled 'I don't remember Christmas'. I will certainly be looking up the music to that one - as well as looking out for Mr Matthews in further productions.
Similarly impressive were Ashley Harvey and Katy Rudd in a delightful sketch set behind the scenes of a certain Inn in Bethlehem. They have great comic timing and generated the biggest laughs of the evening. Dave Crewe (a name familiar to almost anyone who knows the local amateur dramatics scene) provided excellent piano accompaniment throughout the show - he must be credited with coaching the cast to a high musical standard.
Overall a light-hearted and entertaining evening. More wine anyone?