Around 500 performers will help kick-start the festive season as Liverpool ONE Christmas LIVE! takes place this Friday (17 November).
Featuring magical pop-up pantomimes, singing elves, Santa and the talents of hundreds of local young people, the free event promises to bring a non-stop party to launch the festive season.
Taking place from 4pm until 8pm, Liverpool ONE Christmas LIVE! will give visitors of all ages the unique opportunity to catch a sneak peek of some of the region’s best festive performances.
The packed line-up will include the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from the Liverpool Empire; the cast from Wind in the Willows from Shakespeare North; and the cast of pantomimes Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan at the M&S Bank Arena.
In addition to the pop-up pantos, joining the festivities for the first time are hundreds of local schoolchildren and community groups who will perform across multiple areas of Liverpool ONE to help spread some yuletide cheer.
As part of the preparations, since February Liverpool ONE has worked closely with Liverpool Empire’s Creative Learning team and hundreds of pupils from 20 schools and colleges across Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington, Halton and Sefton, alongside the Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre Academy, to create a number of performances exclusively for Liverpool ONE Christmas LIVE!
Natalie Flynn, Senior Creative Learning Manager at The Liverpool Empire Theatre, said:
“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes for a few months to help local young people hone their talents and create something very special for Liverpool ONE’s Christmas launch night. Our team have been incredibly impressed by the talent and the dedication from everyone involved, so we cannot wait to showcase what we have been working on together – I’ve no doubt it will be a truly memorable and magical performance!”
A full line-up of music, singing, dancing and festive magic will populate Liverpool ONE. South John Street, Peter’s Lane and the Galleria by the entrance of ODEON will become focal points for performances during the evening. Plus, brand new for 2023, a stage will be installed on Paradise Street, along with a stage on Thomas Steers Way to complete the performance areas throughout the night.
The night will be hosted by some familiar faces, including Radio City’s Leanne Campbell and Alex Toal; Jay Hynd and Gemma Cutting from The Guide Liverpool; Lizzie Acker from Channel 4’s 2021 season of ‘The Great British Bake Off’; and Liverpool actress and comedian, Kay Nicholson.
And, making their return will of course be Santa himself with his singing elves, festive characters and plenty of choirs, ensuring everyone is in the Christmas spirit all night, plus Bar Hütte will be in full swing underneath Liverpool ONE’s Christmas tree on Chavasse Park.
Some must-see acts include performances from the talented dancers from Mature Movers and Create Dance Wirral, along with outstanding singers from Royal Court Community Choir and Mersey Voices Choir and a pop up appearance from competitors from Strongest Nation at M&S Arena, all surrounded by the twinkling Christmas lights and reindeer installations at Liverpool ONE.
The evening will conclude with a simultaneous performance of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ across all performance areas.
Donna Howitt, Place Strategy Director at Liverpool ONE, said:
“We are now just days away from officially launching Christmas at Liverpool ONE, and this year we are involving more performers than ever before! Our pop-up pantomimes are always a crowd-pleaser as there really is nowhere else you can catch a sneak peek of what’s to come across the city during the festive season. The line-up we have this year looks amazing and I know our performers will put on an incredible show.
Our region is a hot bed of talent, we’re also excited to welcome hundreds of young people who will be performing across Liverpool ONE to entertain visitors. The scale of involvement with young people is a first for Liverpool ONE and we have loved working in conjunction with the Liverpool Empire Creative Learning Team to create something very special that will no doubt inject plenty of festive cheer to everyone watching on the night.
We can’t wait to kick off Christmas and we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to experience it with us.”
Also launching this Friday will be a special Christmas Trail, offering youngsters the chance to discover illuminated reindeers, angel wings, Christmas trees and festive characters hidden in shop windows.
Running until 1st January, those completing the trail will get a free sticker sheet and the chance to win a £250 Liverpool ONE gift card.
For further information about Liverpool ONE Christmas LIVE! and all things Christmas visit: https://www.liverpool-one.com/christmas-live