This festive season, Devon’s buzzing multi-disciplinary arts organisation Exeter Phoenix is inviting families and party-goers to sample an alternative Christmas. From mid November, the venue will be hosting a festive flurry of cultural events from family theatre, to workshops and art markets with flowing mulled cider, to get Exeter residents feeling warm and fuzzy in the season of good will.
For anyone who dreads the high street at this time of year, there are ample opportunities for a more laid back and locally-focused shopping environment, with Paper Phoenix Indie Art and Design Market, the return of popular craft and local maker market Unique Boutique, and workshops where participants can make their own naturally foraged wreaths, the perfect gift at Christmastime. The venue also offers gift vouchers for those looking to give something a bit different, and share amazing experiences with their friends and family.
As usual, the theatre and independent cinema at the venue will be host to some brilliant slices of entertainment for families to enjoy together. Quirk Theatre present their new Christmas show Lucy and The Lost Ones, the follow up to last year’s highly acclaimed Ernie and The Sea of Ice. Other family highlights include a Jingle Bell Ball from the award-winning Big Fish Little Fish family rave, and a host of Dickensian film screenings, from new release The Man Who Invented Christmas to old favourite The Muppet Christmas Carol.
With school out for two weeks, boredom busters include cutting-edge digital workshops where curious kids can try their hand at making everything from animated Christmas cards to short films, Santa themed computer games and LED Christmas trees.
But it’s not all for kids. The venue known for its brilliant live events is certainly delivering this party season, with a number of great (and rather unique) nights out. The hottest alternative and Steampunk acts from all over the country will be making their way to Exeter’s annual Steampunk Yule Ball, which returns with a multi-room party bound to amaze and surprise. While Paul Sartin (of Bellowhead and Faustus) and Paul Hutchinson (of Hoover The Dog) prepare to wow audiences with Belshazzar’s Feast, a Christmas-themed show that mixes traditional folk music, seasonal material, added to their usual touch of classical and jazz. Finally to end the year in style, Exeter Phoenix presents Party in the Cosmos to celebrate New Years Eve.
Tickets for all of this and more can be found at exeterphoenix.org.uk