Jingle bells and lots of turkey

SOOP will be performing A Christmas Tale at The Spring on December 21 (pictured is Vincent Adams and Alice Corrigan)
SOOP will be performing A Christmas Tale at The Spring on December 21 (pictured is Vincent Adams and Alice Corrigan)
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Christmas Day is next week. As scary as that may sound it’s true.

So now the presents are wrapped up safely under the tree (well, maybe), and the kids have finished school, there’s a whole nine days of festive activities to be had before you sit down and eat your turkey.

This coming Wednesday comedy group SOOP is getting into the Christmas spirit by putting on an evening of entertainment at The Spring, Havant with A Christmas Tale.

But instead of offering the traditional talk of Father Christmas and presents over mulled wine and mince pies, the group is planning a return to the festivities’s origins.

Have you ever wondered why a Christmas tree has to be fir; where exactly pigs found their blankets; or how many popes it takes to choose a date? Why do we give presents, and put them under a tree? And what about those mince pies?

Why do we celebrate Christmas the way we do?

Artistic director of SOOP, Nathan Chapman, says: ‘It’s something different for people from the traditional shows and pantomimes. It looks at our heritage, and how even though Christmas is a part of our national culture we don’t really know its roots.

‘It’s to show people the origins of our Christmas traditions.’

What many people don’t realise is that we have Charles Dickens to thank for our perception of the big day.

Nathan explains: ‘As a concept most of the traditions are a Victorian idea, and the sense of history we associate with it isn’t that old. Before that it was a very religious festival.

‘The way we celebrate it isn’t very old at all.’

Festive facts, seasonal sketches and reindeer-laden readings will be served up Henry Oastler and Vincent Adams, with modern Christmas ballads being performed (from Gaudete to White Christmas) by Guide Award nominee Rachel Carter and Guide Award winner Alice Corrigan.

Nathan adds: ‘To be honest I’m looking forward to the mince pies and eggnog!’

A Christmas dinner is included in the evening.

Tickets cost £23.85 to £26.50 from The Spring, Havant on (023) 9247 2700 or go to thespring.co.uk.