Dance and Musical Theatre lecturer Phil Watson-Smith

Hollywood Comes to Christmas

Stratford will be having a Holly Jolly Christmas.

A Stratford-upon-Avon College lecturer will take to the stage in a Hollywood-themed Christmas show.

Phil Watson-Smith, a lecturer of Dance and Musical Theatre at the College, is a member of theatre company The Theatre Collective – a group of eight professionals, all with a drama school or teaching background, who were eager to perform professionally in their spare time.

The company will soon be staging A Holly Jolly Christmas – their very own musical theatre show providing a festive celebration of the golden era of Hollywood. Phil, originally from Solihull, describes A Holly Jolly Christmas as “a fun, family-friendly festive treat designed to set people up for the Christmas season.

“It’s inspired by cinematic depictions of the festive session – Bing Crosby, Michael Buble and Judy Garland – and is packed with Hollywood Christmas classics. It pays tribute to the greatest stars of the MGM years in Hollywood.”

For Phil, being involved in The Theatre Collective offers more than the thrill of being on stage. He firmly believes creating and performing in theatre productions helps him in his role as a lecturer in dance and musical theatre and ensures he is teaching his students the necessary skills: “I feel that I wouldn’t be able to do my teaching if I didn’t have the level of practical experience shows such as this provide. It gives me a real insight into the industry I am preparing my students for.”

A Holly Jolly Christmas is on at Blue Orange Theatre in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham on 9th and 10th December, 2.30pm and 7pm.

Tickets cost £14 (£10 concessions) and are available at www.thetheatrecollective.co.uk

And for those who can’t get enough of the festive spirit, the company has recorded a Christmas album of songs from the show, which will be on sale at the performances.

For regular updates on rehearsal and previews of some of the numbers to be performed, keep an eye on The Theatre Collective’s Facebook page.