The Anti-Claus: Local playwright’s show readies for Murray Bridge premiere

Murray Bridge Players and Singers' youth ensemble will present an original, Christmas-themed theatre show by Andrew Broadbent this weekend.

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Lila Grinter, Caitlin Haby, Morgan Hoff, Macy Grinter, Fallon Small and, seated, Alex White, Janelle Haby and Natalie Frahn rehearse for The Anti-Claus. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Haul out the holly – an original Christmas-themed stage show will have its premiere in Murray Bridge this weekend.

The Anti-Claus is a two-act play by Murray Bridge Players and Singers’ Andrew Broadbent.

He wrote the play last summer, when he was inspired to bring together elements of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and a Doctor Who Christmas special with an original twist.

Kris Kringle gets poisoned, and representations of Christmas past, present and future must come to help him regain his jolly spirit.

Between the curtain opening and happily ever after were plenty of fun times and tidbits of life advice, Broadbent said – “themes about appreciating the people in our lives and talking to other people when you have problems”.

The show’s cast members, drawn from Players and Singers’ youth ensemble, has been rehearsing for almost four months ahead of performances this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Janelle Haby said living in Adelaide during the week had not been enough to keep her away from rehearsals.

“It’s been pretty good: very busy, tiring, but I think it’s worth it,” she said.

“I like meeting people and making new friends.

“Everyone here is so different; it’s like a community and it’s so much fun.”

Despite being new to the group, Fallon Small jumped into the role of publicity designer as well as playing a part on stage.

“At the start I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anyone, but they’re all really friendly,” she said.

For his part, Broadbent said he was happy just to be steering such a cheerful ship.

“Every time we come to rehearsal and I see these kids doing it ... I’m glad I did this,” he said.

“It’s very satisfying seeing these kids grow, step up to the challenge and succeed.”

Disclosure: The author was gifted a fun-sized Twirl bar at the rehearsal. Transparency is important. So is mid-afternoon chocolate.

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