Holly, Misteltoe, the Man in the Red Suit, Rudolph, Cliff Richard, Nat King Cole, Slade or East 17:  I think everyone has something or someone who makes them feel a bit Christmassy.  If you close your eyes and think back, I am sure you can remember that really special Christmas, when Santa brought the toy you had yearned for: the thought of which meant you hardly slept on Christmas Eve.  Did you stir the Christmas Pudding and make a wish?  Did you leave a hot whiskey out for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph?  Did you fight to stay awake at Midnight Mass?  Did you jump with excitement to see the relatives trundling through the door?

I am a Christmas person and if you are sitting in the audience this evening, I am guessing you are too!  Despite living in London for many years and being on the road with shows, I have only ever missed one Christmas in Ireland.  I have fought blizzards, train and plane cancellations and twice rode in a black cab from London to Fishguard just to be back for the festivities! And – it never disappoints:  My family, the tree (same one since 1980) the turkey, ham and my mother’s incredible stuffing (you may have heard of it.)  Some years I have been home for one day and returned on the earliest flight possible, to get back for a boxing day matinee show, laden with turkey sandwiches and a heavy heart.

Christmas By Candlight is, indeed, a labour of love.  I hope we have included your favourite song, whether it’s Nat, Doris, Judy, Wizzard or Shane McGowan I intend you put my heart and soul in to all of them this evening. So, let’s have a party!  Sing along, tap your feet, close your eyes think: “from now one our troubles will be miles away…”

“We need a little Christmas, right this very minute!”

Merry Christmas to All and to All A Good Night!

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