Special guests to switch on the lights at this year’s Countdown to Christmas event

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24 October 2023

Panto star Christopher Biggins leads a host of special guests for Southampton’s Countdown to Christmas event.

Southampton’s Christmas Lights switch-on event is just around the corner and GO! Southampton, Mayflower Theatre and MAST Mayflower Studios are proud to announce the two special guests who will flip the festive switch, and officially mark the start of the Christmas festivities in the city.

Joining us to kick-start the Christmas Countdown on Thursday, November 16th will be Mayflower Theatre’s panto star, none other than the legendary Christopher Biggins, who will be joined by, believe it or not, Scrooge himself!

Played by 15-year old Alex Lockhart, the ultimate Christmas grump is ready to let loose his inner elf, and there will be no ‘Bah Humbug’ in sight as Scrooge has promised to be on best behaviour.

The stars from this year’s Christmas productions are here to spread some serious Christmas cheer! MAST Mayflower Studios and Mayflower Theatre proudly present ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ respectively, which both promise to be the fairest Christmas shows of them all.

Christopher Biggins said: “I am very excited to be in Southampton for Christmas at the fantastic Mayflower Theatre. This year I’ll be playing The Man in the Mirror and I can’t wait to show my sparkly and glitzy costume to Southampton audiences. Book your panto tickets today or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror’.

‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ will burst onto the stage at Mayflower Theatre from 9 – 31 December, with a full cast led by Ashley Banjo & Diversity. The panto is a highlight of Christmas in Southampton and promises audiences a spectacular mix of comedy, sensational songs, dazzling dance numbers and fabulous costumes, making it the perfect treat for all the family this Christmas.’

Across the road at MAST Mayflower Studios, there’s the classic ‘A Christmas Carol’. Performances are from 19 – 31 of December by a cast of over 50 talented young performers, this Dickensian tale of Ebenezer Scrooge will unfold in a brand-new festive musical that’ll warm your hearts and fill you with the spirit of human kindness.

Alex Lockhart said: “I am so excited to represent MAST Mayflower Studios and get to switch on the Southampton Christmas Lights this year! Come and see me play Scrooge over the festive period.”

The festive extravaganza kicks off on Thursday, November 16, with three hours of non-stop entertainment starting from 4pm. Christmas characters will parade through the streets, local acts will serenade you with holiday tunes, and then, the finale—the grand switch-on of Southampton’s Christmas lights.

The event doesn’t just stop there. This year the Countdown to Christmas event is running all weekend from 16th – 19th November. The free four day long event is spread out across the city centre with live music, performances, activities and much more in areas such as Above Bar Street, Guildhall Square, Carlton Place, Oxford Street and by the Bargate. The event is being organised and run by GO! Southampton, the city’s Business Improvement District.

Flo Bevis, GO! Southampton’s Marketing Manager said: ”We’re delighted to announce our special guests. We’ve extended our Christmas offering this year from just one evening to covering four days! It’s not just to spread the joy but to bring more people into the city centre to celebrate the variety of great places to shop and grab a bite to eat on the high street. Hopefully boosting trade in local shops, bars, and restaurants. To kick start everyone’s Christmas cheer.”

That’s not all as the much-loved Christmas market will also be opening its doors from the 16th November until 2nd January.

Put the date in your diary and watch out for our special guests, Christopher Biggins and Scrooge, who will be adding their own touch of magic to the festivities.

To see the full programme of events click here.

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