The Torch Theatre’s Virtual Christmas Grotto has been a festive success, bringing seasonal joy direct into the homes of Pembrokeshire families. Santa’s Virtual Grotto which the Torch is offering for free, on a first come, first served basis, sold out within 48 hours of announcing. All of the almost 100 slots were taken by families across the local region.
Through Zoom, families and most importantly their children have the opportunity to talk direct to Santa, to pass on their Christmas messages ahead of the big day on the 25th of December. Santa, in his grotto, is joined by his two cheeky elves, Tinsel and Jingles, who are making sure that Santa is looked after with mince pies, milk and carrots for the reindeer.
The idea of the virtual grotto came about via the Torch Theatre’s Artistic Director, Peter Doran, who wrote a letter to Santa to ask if he would visit the Torch Theatre and spread some goodwill to the Pembrokeshire Community. Santa kindly agreed to take some time out of his busy schedule to travel to Milford Haven and appear in the Virtual Christmas Grotto.
The Torch Theatre’s Executive Director, Ben Lloyd, said: “Whilst our doors have remained closed to the public for much of 2020, our essential work has nonetheless continued. We remain absolutely committed to serving our community and have been thrilled to deliver this Christmas gift to the many families missing out this year on our much loved Panto. We extend our thanks for the steadfast support shown to the Torch by our audiences, and we wish our community a very Merry Christmas, looking forward to better times ahead and to welcoming you all back to the Torch in 2021.”
The feedback so far from families that have spoken to Santa has been incredible:
“Thank you so much for the call this evening, the effort that was made and attention to detail was wonderful, thank you again”, said one parent. “A MASSIVE thank you to everyone involved, especially Santa of course! It’s absolutely made their Christmas already – my sons are over the moon after chatting with Santa himself”, added another parent.
After a difficult year, the Torch Theatre wanted to bring some Christmas Cheer to its local community. The theatre has been unable to open its doors since the end of March due to the impact of Covid-19. The Pembrokeshire community have been astonishing in showing its support towards the theatre through one of the most challenging years in its history. While operational plans continue to reopen the theatre again in 2021, the Torch staff have been working away behind the scenes, focusing on how they can embrace digital technology to reconnect with its audiences. The Torch recently streamed Daniel Kitson’s Dot. Dot. Dot. and the That’ll Be The Day Christmas Show, both were well received. The theatre plans to announce further news of other live-streamed events in the new year.
Santa’s Virtual Grotto runs at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven, until Sunday 20th December. All slots are sold out.