To hear Christmas Champions visit the Late Junction website and click 'Listen Again'

Christmas Champions was originally written for BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. Now a live multimedia show has been commissioned by The Sage Gateshead and will be touring in December 2007. BBC Folk Award winning duo Chris Wood and Hugh Lupton are joined by The English Acoustic Collective and Olivia Ross in a performance that mixes the recorded voices of past generations with ritual theatre, seasonal song, storytelling and music in a celebration of England’s most enduring midwinter custom: The Mummers Play.

The show combines the music of midwinter, both choral and instrumental, with new songs and re-workings of established carols, worked into field recordings of Herbie Smith's reminiscences of mumming in the Medway valley at the turn of the last century. Hugh Lupton's narrative constantly contextualises the music and the singers reciprocate, weaving and compounding imagery, parable and drama. It is the true, native, vernacular mystery play and this performance, directed by Tim Dalling, brings it vividly to life.

Photo: James Fagan

December 2008 Tour Dates:

Dec 3 The Sage Gateshead 0191 443 4661
Dec 4 Cecil Sharp House, London 0207 485 2206 ext 25
Dec 5 Glasshouse Theatre, Stourbridge
Dec 6 Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, Halifax 01422 349422
Dec 7 Norwich Arts Centre 01603 660352
Dec 8 Nettlebed Folk Club 01628 636620
Dec 10 Aberystwyth Arts Centre 01970 623232
Dec 11 St George's, Bristol 0845 4024001
De 12 Forest Arts Centre, New Milton, Hampshire 01425 612393

The original radio show can still be heard via BBC Radio 3's 'Listen Again' facility - click here.

Photo: James Fagan