Entertaining nights out over the festive season

59 minutes to save christmas
59 minutes to save christmas
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Longton Community Church invites Preston to join in its Christmas Celebration at Preston Guild hall on Sunday evening.

It will feature music and carols with their band and choir – including all the classics and a modern twist. There will also be video and drama presentations, the Nativity and Christmas cheer.

Box office: 01772 804444 or www.prestonguildhall.com

The annual New Year’s Eve event at Preston Guild Hall is now a firm favourite in the city’s cultural calendar.

The Last Night of the Preston Proms will again feature all the rousing classical favourites and an indoor firework display to round off the midnight celebrations.

Soprano Sarah Redgwick and tenor James Edwards star alongside the full Manchester Concert Orchestra led by conductor John Pryce-Jones.

Their musical menu comprises Jerusalem, Palladio, 633 Squadron, Radetsky March, O Soave Fanciulla, Brindisi from La traviata, the Flower Song from Carmen, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, excerpts from Handel’s Water Music Suites, Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture and Wagner’s Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin.

Naturally, at the advent of the New Year there will also be Rule Britannia, Nessun Dorma, and the Land Of Hope And Glory Hornpipe.

Box office: 01772 804444 or www.prestonguildhall.com

Lancaster’s own improvisational theatre company tonight squeeze a Christmas show into their busy itinerary.

Following their popular Halloween themed show, and a trip to Dublin to perform in the Irish International Improv Festival, We Are Improv have received bookings for festivals and events across the country.

But tonight you can catch them at The Storey in the city.

The yuletide show will be an opportunity to see the cast weave a tale of humour and intrigue around a workplace Christmas party and inspired by festive suggestions from the audience.

In the new year the company intends running introduction to improv workshops with weekly morning and evening sessions aimed at confidence building.

Visit the website for details www.weareimprov.co.uk or contact info@weareimprov.co.uk

Throughout the autumn, Lancaster’s Dukes cinema has been taking part in a UK-wide celebration of science fiction movies.

The journey continues this month and next with Stanley Kubrick’s timeless masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen on December 27.

The first sci-film screening of 2015 will be The Man Who Fell To Earth (18) starring David Bowie as an alien who crash lands on earth. The film will be introduced by Dr Bruce Bennett, director of film studies at Lancaster University.

On January 14, there’s a chance to see a landmark in science fiction cinema when Fritz Lang’s iconic 1927 film Metropolis (PG) is screened accompanied by an electro-acoustic score composed by Lancaster-based duo Lee Affen and Ric Smithson.

All are screened as part of the nationwide BFI Sci-Fi Season Days of Fear and Wonder.

Box Office: 01524 598500 or www.dukes-lancaster.org.

The cinema also has afternoon screenings of The Nutcracker on December 21and Swan Lake on January 25.

Nutcracker is the traditional festive ballet set on Christmas Eve when a girl is given a wooden nutcracker shaped as a little man which, along with her other toys, magically comes to life.

The classic Swan Lake, another Tchaikovsky masterpiece, tells the story of Odette, beautiful white swan by day, human by night, who awaits an oath of true love to break the curse.

Box Office: 01524 598500 or www.dukes-lancaster.org.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong at The Lowry in Salford over Christmas!

The comedy spin on a classic family favourite comes from Mischief Theatre, who enjoyed success last year with The Play That Goes Wrong.

Producers of the show are using rising young stars from the region to tread the boards alongside the ensemble cast of ten.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong introduces The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society who are attempting to stage J.M. Barrie’s classic tale, but everything that can go wrong does . . .

It runs until January 11.

Box office: 0843 208 6005 or www.thelowry.com

A specialist Manchester venue for family arts experiences is staging an innovative alternative to pantomime this Christmas.

A freeArt Cart workshop after every show also presents the opportunity to make your own Christmas decorations

59 Minutes to Save Christmas leaps from the stage, does away with the seats and leads audiences on a festive adventure.

From Saturday to Christmas Eve a cast including Sergeant Hiccup, Jack and Elf track down a mysterious character that is out to sabotage festivities.

With music and radio coming in on a personal set of headphones, children will be immersed in their own story.

Liz O’Neill, artistic director of Z-arts, said: “59 Minutes to Save Christmas had rave reviews from children and parents during its first run at the Barbican in London.

“We’re delighted that Manchester families will have a chance to experience a Christmas show with a real difference.”

It is created by theatre company Slung Low at 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA

Box Office: 0161 232 6089 or www.z-arts.org