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  • Writer's pictureMadeline Shann

Performing at Northern Art Festival with The Christmas Live Survival Guide

I performed at the Northern Art Festival with my interactive one-woman mini-musical The Christmas Live Survival Guide. Getting it ready in time was something of a challenge - I had a month to devise the show, write 5 original songs and make gift-boxes full of props for the audience, 10 read-along books and a read-along flipchart. This introduced me to the new experiences of back-to-back 18 hour days of "colouring in" (nowhere NEAR as fun as it sounds) and marathon gift-wrapping sessions (30 re-used/altered/ fashioned-out-of-flat-cardboard boxes - lids wrapped separately. Go ahead - assume this wouldn't take all that long. Don't say I didn't warn you). But it was worth every second.

The Christmas run-up had ironically passed me by in my frantic hermit state, but donning my Christmas jumper and sitting behind my fairy-light festooned piano in front of an audience full of Christmas cheer and goodwill was an absolute joy. I'm going to tuck all the props and books away and do it all again next year.

The festival is the first of its kind run by performance art duo Charlotte and Tim, and a fantastic, much-needed platform for independent and emerging performers in the region. It was a pleasure to be on the bill alongside such a range of great local talent including Leeds-based writer Clare Sita Fisher who was performing her piece "How the Light Gets In" which she has performed previously at Leeds Light Night and the UKYA festival, and subversive comedians Sam & Tom who run Boondoggle, one of Sheffield's hugely popular alternative comedy nights.

The deadline for the next one is coming up and I am racking my brain, so watch this space...

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