Another Christmas

Losing your wits and your Christmas spirit? Feel hollow and need a break? Drop everything for half an hour and watch Another Christmas, a musical short film celebrating otherness and isolation, while capturing the essence of Christmas. After watching it, you’ll feel merry and at peace again – I promise.

All I need for Christmas is an encore

There are hundreds of Christmas shows, but this is not just another Christmas show despite the title. The yuletide gem from Music Beyond Mainstream presents alternative Christmas stories that resonate with anyone who is feeling isolated or disconnected this festive season. In Artistic Director Laura Ducceschi’s words: “This is about ‘the other’, but we are all the other”. Couldn’t agree more; we all deserve a treat like this after the few years we’ve had.

Another Christmas explores the multiple narratives of Christmas. Film maker Samona Olanipekun takes a kaleidoscopic approach to what doesn’t conform to the traditional Christmas celebrations. The musical performances are filmed in unusual locations intertwining with real life stories, casting real people. It encapsulates the Christmas spirit as it is, with warts and all. Olanipekun’s description of the film as being an anti-John Lewis advert is spot on. The songs are performed as hymns or prayers, some edging on curses. Each digging its way deeper into your soul.

The Irish singer and storyteller Camille O'Sullivan’s version of Fairytale of New York sure isn’t pretty, but it sure is effective. Slipping into character is her forte and the monologue she delivers is perfect in its ugliness. Turning into Douglas Dare, who performs Whamageddon on his piano. Be warned, Last Christmas is on the menu, but Dare’s desperation cuts through the shallow pop anthem like a knife.

Nothing can prepare you to the enigmatic ESKA singing Silent Night like you’ve never heard before. The Mercury-nominated vocalist is an otherworldly character, like a modern-day voodoo priestess. Singing inside the empty Brighton Dome, her voice takes you to a strange place between heaven and hell. The performance is beyond mesmerizing, more like slipping into a trans, ready to follow her anywhere she chooses.

Another Christmas features reinterpreted well-known classics along with performers’ original material. The result is familiar, yet fresh and contemporary. The misplaced, desperate stories did not leave me sad or depressed, they left me elevated. Dare I say, filled with Christmas spirit, edging on something spiritual. That is a lot to say from a hardcore atheist. Instead of isolating, these stories have the ability to connect. All I need for Christmas is an encore.

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Reviews by Johanna Makelainen

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival

Another Christmas

★★★★
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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Music Beyond Mainstream and Brighton Dome are presenting a short online film to highlight alternative Christmas stories that will resonate with anyone who may feel isolated or disconnected from the festive season. 

Another Christmas explores real life narratives, accompanied by performances from leading musicians, singer-songwriters and performers in unusual locations. Using a kaleidoscopic approach, Artistic Director Laura Ducceschi, co-creator Patrick Eakin Young and film maker Samona Olanipekun cast real families, individuals and friends spending the festive period in ways that don’t necessarily conform to the traditional version of Christmas celebrations.

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