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Review: The Night Before Christmas

Review by Ally Richmond at Toddle About West Northants

A beautiful Christmas story

We were lucky enough to be invited to see The Night Before Christmas at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton. 

Our children are six, four and two and adore the Royal as they always provide some entertainment before the performances. Today's show was no exception. There was a lovely area to put on a puppet show, an advent scavenger hunt, colouring tables, a gorgeous reading igloo and even Father Christmas's sleigh to take photos in. 


The performance itself was magical from the very beginning. It's set in the cosy 'Underground' stage with floor cushions for the children to sit and watch on and chairs for the adults.

The cast is only two actors: Joanne Maroun as Amber and Dan McGarry as Grandad and Blitzen. They carry the story together beautifully. Without giving too much away, the story follows Amber and her Grandad on Christmas eve as they try to find their Christmas Joy.

Blitzen was my son's favourite character because he was "really funny and has good taste in music". There was just enough audience participation to keep the children interested throughout. A really relaxing, Christmassy tale which our children enjoyed and haven't stopped talking about since. 

The story was so lovely to watch. The actors, staging, lighting and sound made the whole show really immersive and captivated the children for the whole 50 minutes without so much as a "can I have a snack". 

If you have the chance to catch a performance it is definitely a truly wonderful way to end the festive season with your little ones. 


Performances on Friday 30th December and Saturday 31st December at 11am and 2pm.

The Night Before Christmas is part of Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton season. Tickets for the show – priced from £11* – can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at . A full performance schedule can be found on the website including details of relaxed and signed performances.

The Made in Northampton season is sponsored locally by Michael Jones Jeweller.

* A charge of £3.50 applies for all transactions of £20 and over. Does not apply to Groups, Members or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

Performance images by Robert Day