Q&A Musician in Father Christmas

    Stacey Ghent is the talented musician who sprinkles the sparkle and musical magic on Pins and Needles and the Lyric Hammersmith’s production of Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, brought to you this Christmas in digital partnership with us here at Tobacco Factory Theatres.

    Of all the instruments you play in the show, what is your favourite and why?

    Oooooh that’s a difficult one. As an instrument, I love the flugelhorn the most (that’s the shiny gold-looking instrument I blow through when Father Christmas is moving around at home). I think it’s got a beautiful sound, and it’s very clever because it has a bit of a personality of it’s own, so can change how it sounds to be happy or sad or silly or tired.

    But in our show, I really love playing the glockenspiel (it’s the instrument that’s on the table in front of me but you might not be able to see it from the angle of the camera – it sounds like little tuneful bells, and I play it with two sticks). They sound so beautiful and Christmassy, and are perfect for when Father Christmas is tiptoeing around the world delivering presents.

    What made you want to become a professional musician?

    From a very young age, I always enjoyed listening to different kinds of music – it always made me feel happier. One day I realised that I enjoyed playing music as much as I enjoyed listening to it, and because I enjoyed it so much, I didn’t realise how much hard work I was putting in to become a better player, until I suddenly realised I was good enough to be able to do it as a job. Now, I love it. I get to play lots of beautiful pieces of music every single day! How lucky am I?!

    What’s the one thing you wish people knew about being a musician?

    That it actually takes around 10-15 minutes, per instrument, to get warmed up to be fully ready to play properly.

    Without giving away too much – what is the most magical moment in the show?

    There’s one moment, about half way through, when we see two of Father Christmas’s very best helpers, ready to help him with the big job. That moment when they come out, is my most favourite moment of the whole show. So so magical.

    What are you asking Father Christmas for this year?

    Hmmmmm…this is a tough one. This year, more than ever, I’ve realised how important it is to take care of other people. So I think this year, I would like to ask Father Christmas to simply take care of everyone, to make sure his elves are safe and warm and happy, and to do what he can to sprinkle the world with a huge helping of kindness on Christmas Eve, to last us throughout next year.

    How do you think the show will be different this year?

    The biggest difference is that we’re performing for you through your TV screen. I’ll really miss having you all here, in person.

    We’ve also had to do a little bit of work to be able to bring you this story whilst sticking to social distancing guidelines so that we can keep Father Christmas, and all of his helpers safe. With that, you’ll sometimes see some of his helpers wearing masks, which is a new addition to this version of the show (the masks are suuuuper snazzy though! I love them!)

    What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

    For me, it’s the whole feel of being out and about. Especially the smell of the air when you’re out Christmas shopping when it’s dark, and all of the Christmas lights are lit up in the shops. Hearing the Christmas music playing in shops and outside, and the smell of chestnuts roasting on the little carts in the streets.

    Oh, and oooooobviously Christmas Dinner!!!!!! All of the veggies, far too much gravy, and too many Yorkshire puddings – DELICIOUS!

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