With summer a distant memory, it’s high time we started to think about Christmas! Yes, that’s right, Xmas Factor is back, and this time as a very special All Stars edition! But don’t worry, if it’s too soon for you to pull out your Santa hats and put up your tree (is it ever too early?), then we’ve got two more brand spanking new pieces of musical theatre for you this Autumn… Remember, you can get tickets for all three shows from our website!
18th October 2017
First up, Rice Harvest from writers Keith Hale and William Dashwood hits St Paul’s Church on 18th October. Telling the story of the Vietnamese “Boat Children” in the 1970s, Rice Harvest is based on two very true stories.
The show follows the escape and rescue of Vietnamese refugees by the unlikeliest of heroes – a diving captain of an offshore oil rig, Bill. It’s written by Keith Hale based on his experiences meeting the Vietnamese children in 1978, when originally he was going to use an image of them as an album cover for his band.
The album was never released, but Blood Donor, his band, did release a single called Rice Harvest the next year. In 1991, Keith revisited the material and envisaged it as a musical, which was eventually performed by a 300-piece children’s choir twenty-one years later. Now, with the input of Hong Dam, a Boat Person herself, Al Dibbs, who helped rescue hundreds of refugees, and long-time collaborator William Dashwood, this new musical has been born.
16 November 2017
14.30 & 19.00
Like Keith, Denise knows the material first-hand after spending years studying the Castro regime in Cuba, as an associate professor of Southampton University.
The musical in two halves, the first act is being performed for the first time this November at St Paul’s. As well as featuring a story and book by Denise, the music has been written via a song-writing competition that took place across 800 schools and colleges last year. Now, Denise and her team are putting together the second part – for which the competition is open until March 2018. And, to celebrate coming to Iris next month, the team behind the show have released Alfie Aukett’s song Hasta la Victoria, which you can listen to now!
Xmas Factor: All Stars
01 December 2017
For the fifth year running, Xmas Factor is back, and this time with the all stars! Featuring the very best from the last four years of shows, we’re ringing in Christmas in style with the ultimate showdown between our most celebrated songs.
There’s a lot more to say about Xmas Factor and we’re going to have big news later this week… including a run down of which songs have made the cut! So stay tuned on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, because this is an announcement you aren’t going to want to miss!