Entertainment

Christmas Actually: Richard Curtis’s new festive show coming to London stage

Film-maker Richard Curtis has curated a new festive variety show called Christmas Actually to be staged in London in December in aid of Comic Relief (Ian West/PA)
Film-maker Richard Curtis has curated a new festive variety show called Christmas Actually to be staged in London in December in aid of Comic Relief (Ian West/PA) Film-maker Richard Curtis has curated a new festive variety show called Christmas Actually to be staged in London in December in aid of Comic Relief (Ian West/PA)

Love Actually film-maker Richard Curtis has curated a new Christmas variety show in aid of Comic Relief for the forthcoming festive season.

The stage show, titled Christmas Actually, will not be an adaptation of his beloved 2003 festive film but will feature a celebrity line-up performing live music, Christmas stories, poetry and comedy.

It will run for a limited eight performances at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre from December 7 to 11.

Curtis, who co-founded Comic Relief with Sir Lenny Henry in 1985, said: “I hope this will be the perfect Christmas show: noisy and emotional, and full of surprises and jokes with some proper celebrity sparkle.

“And I know it will help support brilliant projects changing people’s lives, both in the UK and around the world, 365 days a year.”

Daniel Raggett, who oversaw the recent West End revival of Accidental Death Of An Anarchist, will direct the show.

Described as a “treasure trove of entertainment”, it will feature classic Christmas songs performed by a live band alongside real-life stories and poetry readings.

The programme will also include performances of festive cracker jokes by celebrities, readings of children’s letters to Father Christmas, and a seasonal singalong.

It will all be staged against a backdrop of live illustrations from renowned artists and illustrators.

The cast, creative team and celebrity guests will be announced later in the year.

Senbla and Roast Productions have created the show in partnership with Comic Relief, which will receive a portion of the ticket sales to support projects across the UK and around the world.

Sky Arts Awards
Sky Arts Awards Sir Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis founded Comic Relief in 1985 (Ian West/PA)

After it was released in 2003, Love Actually went on to become a staple film of the UK festive season and was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, as well as Bill Nighy winning a Bafta for best actor in a supporting role.

The film delves into different aspects of love as shown through 10 separate stories involving a variety of individuals, with many of the tales interlinking.

It starred a host of big British names including Hugh Grant, Dame Emma Thompson, Colin Firth and Keira Knightly, Liam Neeson and the late Alan Rickman.

Curtis’s credits also include Notting Hill, Four Weddings And A Funeral and Bridget Jones’s Diary, as well as TV sitcoms Blackadder and The Vicar Of Dibley.

– Christmas Actually will be staged at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre from December 7 to 11, with tickets going on sale on Wednesday morning.