A NEW Christmas show for children under five is coming to Durham this winter.

Mrs Claus' Kitchen, an in-house production by Gala Theatre, takes place throughout December and promises to keep children entertained with original music and puppetry.

The performance follows Mrs Claus – played by North East actress Samantha Phyllis Morris – and her kitchen helper, Widget, as they’re getting ready for Christmas. But when Santa’s sleigh breaks down, the solution comes from an unexpected place!

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Widget will be played by Robert Nicholson – well known to Gala audiences for playing ‘Elf’ in previous Christmas performances Elf’s Christmas Wish, Elf’s Christmas Toys and Elf’s Christmas Adventure.

The show has been produced by Rory Stuart, also Gala’s ticketing systems officer, who recently produced and directed J.M. Barrie’s The Twelve Pound Look with his own theatre company.

Kate Sorahan, Gala’s theatre education officer, will direct the play after successes with Gala Theatre Stage School’s The Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll and Hyde and Rent.

“Our Christmas shows for young families have always been extremely popular and we are confident that Mrs Claus’ Kitchen will be no different,” said Rory. “Tickets are already selling very quickly and we can’t wait to see children enjoying the performances.”

The production has been designed by former Gala box office assistant Katy Gardner, who trained in theatre design and costume construction, with a gingerbread puppet made by Newcastle-born Ailsa Dalling who made the puppets for The Owl & the Pussycat at Gala earlier this year.

  • Mrs Claus’ Kitchen, Durham Gala Theatre, Monday to Saturday, December 4-30, at various times. Ticketsfrom £6.50 to £7.50 and £24 to £28 for a family ticket. Visit www.galadurham.co.uk or call 03000 266 600 to book.