Mercury Theatre and Culver Square support freelancers to bring Christmas magic to Colchester

A Christmas attraction of Cinderella's Castle

Visitors to Colchester’s Culver Square are guaranteed a glittering welcome this Christmas, with the unveiling of a 6m high magical castle, featuring Father Christmas and Rudolph, thanks to a creative partnership between the Mercury Theatre and the management team at Culver Square.

The idea of a theatrical welcome to the square was conceived by David Robertson centre manager at Culver Square shopping centre in October 2019. He said;
“Where do you begin when you want to create fairy tale magic in Colchester? We immediately knew that the workshop team at the Mercury Theatre are experts in constructing Christmas magic and entertaining audiences every year. We are incredibly excited that they have been able to help us achieve this and that we can support the efforts of their freelance team in current times too.”

The beautiful pink castle, featuring stunning Colchester themed stained glass windows and over 500 lights, was designed by Mercury scenic team member David Thomas and has been constructed using CNC precision technology, hand-craftsmanship and intricately painted by four members of the Mercury’s freelance workforce, led by Phillip Attwater, Head of Construction. Due to the pandemic, and the theatre’s temporary closure, the team have been facing an uncertain winter with the announcement that the Mercury’s 2020 pantomime would be unable to go ahead in the newly refurbished Mercury Theatre this year.

Tracey Childs, Executive Producer at the Mercury, said;
“This incredible castle needs to be seen to be believed – it really is a magical sight and a fitting winter centre-piece for those shopping and visiting Culver Square. We were delighted the Mercury was asked to play a part in this enchanting display for Colchester and to work together with the Culver Square management team for the benefit of the whole town.”

“We are extremely grateful that this opportunity has allowed us to offer our highly talented scenic team the opportunity to return to (socially-distanced) work and they have created something truly marvellous. Freelancers have really suffered throughout the pandemic and our industry cannot survive without them! This has led us to set up several initiatives to try and help, including a confidential Hardship Fund, and I am thrilled that together with our multi- talented team and production facilities, we have been able to make fairy tales come true for the people of Colchester this Christmas.”

David Robertson added; “After the difficult year that everyone has had, we are extremely pleased that we can still bring the magic of Christmas to Culver Square this year. The enchanting castle is really going to fill the square with that festive feeling.”

“We are very grateful for the support of Our Colchester Business Improvement District, who have helped us fund the castle so that everyone in Colchester can enjoy the spectacular display.”

The fairy tale castle, based outside in the centre of Culver Square, will be available to view from Saturday 21st November and remain in place for six weeks, until the start of January 2021.

This Christmas we are streaming our award-winning pantomime Cinderella for audiences to celebrate at home, while providing a valuable lifeline for the show’s cast and crew. All of the proceeds from the ticket sales to view Cinderella online will be split equally between the theatre and all of the freelancers whose work is visible on the stage, and those who worked behind the scenes, to bring this magical show to life. Over 40 individuals, including actors, musicians, stage management, dressers and backstage crew will share 50% of the income from the streaming. Buy you viewing pass today and support our work for the future.

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