This festive themed concert certainly raises the spirits to help audiences get in the mood for Christmas – while raising money for charities Shelter and Crisis at Christmas.

It’s been a tough old year for everybody – but thank goodness for this lovely Christmas concert filmed at the at The Actors’ Church in London’s Covent Garden which is filled with plenty of treats throughout.

Directed and staged by Michael Strassen, We Need A Little Christmas brings together some familiar faces from stage and screen for a 75 minute concert that features performances from the likes of Dame Maureen Lipman, Simon Callow, Kevin Clifton and Jodie Prenger to name a few.

Ranging from Christmas Carols to readings, there is certainly plenty something for everyone here. From Sophie Isaacs offering a charmingly sweet rendition of ‘We Need a Little Christmas’ to Brenda Edwards offering a hauntingly beautiful performance of ‘O’Holy Night’ there is plenty to hit all the emotions.

But that isn’t to say that there isn’t also plenty to make you smile as well. In particular, Kevin Clifton’s jazzy rendition of ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’ (complete with fancy footwork) is fabulous, while Cassidy Janson is clearly having plenty of fun on her cheeky rendition of ‘Santa Baby’.

Hosted by Denise Welch, who makes for a lovely warm host, the concert is certainly uplifting in all the right places. Simon callow’s reading of A Christmas Dinner by Charles Dickens is captivating to listen to, while Maureen Lipman gives us plenty to giggle about during her sketch.

But of course, not everyone involved could be filmed at The Actor’s Church, so there are a few lovely home filmed performances from Jodie Prenger who offers a lovely gentle performance of ‘White Christmas’ and Christine Allado’s performance of ‘Silent Night’ is equally beautiful – even if the sound quality lets it down slightly.

It has all been beautifully filmed and feels so cosy throughout – helped by the way in which the church has been decorated with presents – shown off to great effect during Charlie Kristensen’s (#CheerUpCharlie) heartfelt performance of ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’. There is a real sense that this is a community that has really come together with the same aim of wanting to cheer people up.

The best way to describe this concert is that it is emotionally uplifting from start to finish. Really touches the heart on all fronts, with David Bedella’s sincere rendition of ‘I’ll Be home For Christmas’ taking on new meaning – leaving you feel a tad more hopeful that you will get to see these wonderful performers back on stage again soon.

By Emma Clarendon

We Need a Little Christmas is available to stream now through Stream.Theatre until the 1st January 2021.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐