Let It RSNO at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Image Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

The Night Before Christmas

From: 4 Dec 2022

To: 10 Dec 2022

The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow & the Clyde Valley
G2 3NY

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The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Children’s Classic Concerts (Scotland) joined forces to create a special Christmas family treat in The Night Before Christmas, and it proved an absolute delight.

Presented by Owen Gunnell (Artistic Director for Children’s Classic Concerts Scotland) and conducted by Ellie Slorach (Founder and Artistic Director of Kantos Chamber Choir), the show tells a story about a confused elf named Owen. Owen has fallen asleep after a Christmas night out and now has to catch up with all things Christmas with only 12 days to go; letters to Santa have to be written, seasonal singalongs are to be attended and a trip to Lapland must be planned and executed in time. The emphasis of the show is very much on fun for the whole family, with singalongs, dancing routines and references to some of the most beloved Christmas films and songs. Gunnell gives a fantastic performance as the flustered Elf spreading cheer and good fun. 

The foyer music was provided by musicians from the South Lanarkshire Schools’ Big Band under the musical direction of Eliot Murray and was the best welcome treat on a very frosty day. Despite the show running for only 60 minutes (perfect for younger children in the audience) there is lots to be explored and discovered for all. 

The Night Before Christmas features soloists Zoe Drysdale, Olivia Eccles, Katie McKinstry and Rosie Wallbanks, with the RSNO Children’s Chorus and dancers from The Manor School of Ballet. The children (all wearing matching Santa hats) who sang with the Children’s Chorus were all fantastic singers, not to mention incredibly endearing and great fun to watch. The audience did exactly as they were instructed by their dancing and singing (the penguin dance will stay with us for a while yet). In particular, the two girls who performed at the end of the show did an incredible job with Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas, which is no small feat. 

CCC, the RSNO, the RSNO Children’s Chorus and the Manor School of Ballet created something truly special this Christmas. The ballet element of the show seemed to be a real favourite amongst the audience. We were all given a special task, to guess which Christmas classics were being performed by the group. This task turned out to be much harder than thought, however between us all I think we managed to guess the majority. 

The show was truly outstanding and it was impossible to leave without a big smile and lots of additional Christmas cheer. The Night Before Christmas, with its relaxed, fun and interactive approach made for a fantastic day out for the whole family. The banter between the orchestra (snow fights were at play), conductor, Gunnell and the rest of the cast and crew made it a joy to watch. It definitely encouraged everyone in the audience to join in the mischievous fun.

With thanks to Artmag contributor Joanna Zuchowska for this review. The show was also performed at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

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