Dreaming of a white Christmas? Make it come true with CBeebies star Patrick
Lynne Brighouse speaks to CBeebies presenter Patrick Lynch ahead of his show in Derby this month.
THE young and the young at heart can indulge all their desires for a white Christmas this year, whatever the weather, thanks to a fun piece of theatrical improvisation.
The Snow Play, which opens at Derby’s Guildhall Theatre next week, promises audiences copious amounts of snow, the opportunity to build a snowman and the chance to take part in a huge snowball fight.
And the icing on the cake is that visitors don’t even have to get cold or wet.
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“What more could you ask for from a festive production?” jokes television presenter Patrick Lynch, from the CBeebies channel, and who is appearing in the show.
Patrick loves performing in children’s productions, especially when there is chance to interact with the audience and the structure of the play is fairly fluid.
“There is a very specific storyline to Snow Play and certain themes do emerge but the show is interactive and takes a slightly different direction each night we perform it,” he explains.
“It depends on the audience and their input to the story which makes it all much more fun.”
The plot of Snow Play is based around a battle between two seasons, Spring (represented by Patrick’s character Mr Green) and Winter (represented by Mr White, played by Italian TV favourite Carlo Rossi).
When Mr Green comes back from his holidays he discovers Mr White has moved into his house and fallen asleep.
Mr White doesn’t want to move out to make way for Spring and he begins to cover the inside of the house in snow. His aim is to sleep a lot and then have fun in the snow but Mr Green has more serious tasks to perform and can’t stand the snow being in his house – especially not on his carpet.
Patrick says: “It should be snowing outside, not inside. The question is who gets to stay and who has to go away
“The audience will help decide what happens as well as getting the chance to have fun in the snow with Mr White and Mr Green.”
“The main thrust of Snow Play is to encourage the audience to enjoy themselves playing in the snow but there are important lessons in there too about negotiation, compromise and tolerance.
“We all have to find a way of getting along, to make space for others and the drama emphasises the importance of friendship, which is a very appropriate theme for the festive season.”
Patrick has made a successful niche for himself as a children’s presenter and performer over the last 20 years, with regular slots on CBeebies programmes Let’s Celebrate and Razzle Dazzle.
He originally studied for a degree in psychology and found his theatrical feet almost by accident.
“I became involved in experimenting with drama therapy and suddenly realised that I felt very at home in that field,” he says. “I seemed to have a talent for performing and decided to see where else this could take me.
For some time, Patrick experimented with the art of storytelling but gradually he became more involved with exploring performing opportunities in Europe and the UK.
Snow Play is a collaboration between Lyric Theatre Company, in Hammersmith, and the Lyngo Theatre Company, which specialises in bringing new and innovative theatre from Italy.
All of Lyngo’s shows are designed and directed by Marcello Chiarenza, an artist and theatre practitioner from Venice, and all carry his distinctive style – based on the principles of “object theatre”, in which everyday things are transformed on stage.
In addition to having an Italian director, the music for the show has been written by the well-regarded Italian composer Carlo Cialdo Capelli, who studied with Stockhausen and has also won awards for his gentle, melodious music.
Patrick believes Snow Play has a universal appeal, for young and old alike.
And, as the Derby dates are so close to Christmas, he plans to bring along a small group of his biggest fans – his family, which includes two sons aged two-and-a-half and nine months.
“My eldest son Oliver has just discovered my TV appearances and seems to finds them very entertaining so he now wants to come along and see the live show too,” he says.
SEE THE SHOW
WHAT: Snow Play
WHERE: Derby Guildhall Theatre.
WHEN: December 12-23, various times.
ADMISSIONS: £10.25 (concessions £8.75) Family ticket £28.
TICKETS: Call 01332 255800 or visit www.derbylive.co.uk