Yes you heard that right. Get tickets to see Santa’s New Sleigh and you could become a certified Master Sleigh Builder. Oh and you also get to meet the big man himself. I caught up with the producer Sam Bradshaw to find out about this magical offer.
Right up until Christmas Eve, two troubled elves, Sprocket and Dibs, are calling on families to help them solve the very serious problem of Santa’s missing sleigh.
In the end there’s nothing else for it but to build a new one, and that’s where you, the audience, can help out, with lots of singing and laughter along the way.
This festive treat comes from Sam Bradshaw Productions, who are on tour again after sell-out seasons in Lichfield, Peterborough and the West End’s Arts Theatre.
Santa’s New Sleigh was first created for The Curve in Leicester. Sam was playing Stinky Pete the Pirate in a production of Peter Pan in Shrewsbury when he was asked by the Dame, Brad Fitt, if he’d like to produce the children’s show with him. What first began as a 40-minute story featuring Jingle Bells has developed into an hour-long show with its own original songs.
With Sam directing, and the cast working collaboratively with writer Brad, the show has evolved naturally, resulting in what Sam describes as “a fast and funny, silly bit of business.”
He said; “It’s a family-friendly, full-on interactive story with a narrative that bridges the gap for little ones that aren’t quite old enough for the panto, and there’s some subtle adult humour in there too so it’s a lovely feel-good Christmas show for everyone.”
There’s plenty of audience participation, with children invited on to the stage to open the advent calendar doors and Dads plucked out to be reindeer pulling the sleigh. At the end there’s a meet and greet with Santa and every child gets a present.
Sam has plenty of experience knowing how to create engaging productions for kids as he first became a children’s entertainer at just 13. He can walk on stilts, ride a unicycle and juggle knives.
“My Dad asked me to do some tricks for my cousin’s party and after that I kept on performing magic shows,” he explained. “I have a good eye for what kids like, so it’s funny and not patronising. It’s what my passion is, it’s amazing to see their faces when they help build the sleigh.”
Sam loves his role of half-creative, half-businessman. In between productions he performs on cruise ships and runs a children’s entertainment business in London. Most exciting of all though is the news that he’s working on a David Walliams title. No wonder he’s good at juggling.
Santa’s New Sleigh is performed at the Winter Gardens’ recently refurbished Pavilion Theatre, which has been reopened after 20 years through a partnership between Selladoor Worldwide and Blackpool Entertainment Company. It’s the oldest venue in the Winter Gardens complex and was part of the original 1878 build.
“It’s an honour to be the first show staged since the 70s at such a prestigious venue as the Pavilion Theatre,” said Sam, “And Blackpool is such a fun place with lots going on. There’s a good offering here this Christmas and it’s fantastic to be part of it.”
By Kirstie Niland
Santa’s New Sleigh is ideal for kids of all ages, including their parents. Book tickets here