Observations: Cold comfort at the Globe's open-air Christmas show

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The Independent Culture

Do you fancy an open-air Christmas show this year? If so, head to Shakespeare's Globe, which will be hiring out blankets for its first Christmas production. For those prepared to brave the cold, Footsbarn's Christmas Cracker is inspired by the complete works of Shakespeare. But is, fortunately, a short show – just two half-hour acts and an interval, during which the audience can snuggle up with some mulled wine or steaming hot food. "There's nothing more bananas than doing a show at Christmas in a theatre without a roof, so it seemed like a good idea to find a company like Footsbarn who embody the ridiculousness to fill it", says Dominic Dromgoole, the artistic director of the theatre.

Footsbarn are a leading touring company who began in Cornwall in 1971 but left the UK in 1984. They have been based in the Auvergne, France for nearly 20 years. They returned to the UK, after a 17-year break, when they performed their Shakespeare Party at the Globe in 2008 – before bringing their A Midsummer Night's Dream to the 2008 International Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It later transferred to Victoria Park in east London.

This latest show mixes physical and visual theatre, music and magic. It includes three grave-diggers from Hamlet, who, it emerges are all called Derek; as well as Shakespeare himself (with three heads); and fleeting cameos from Macbeth, Lear, Juliet, Romeo, Gertrude, Ophelia, and Hamlet.

Shakespeare's Globe, London SE1, 22 December to 3 January (www.shakespearesglobe.org)

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