The Night Before Christmas (December 2012)

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The Night Before Christmas is a short piece of physical story telling aimed at children aged 2-4. The performance includes live physical performance and loud reading, music and puppetry. The piece is highly visual and captives the audience and allow the children to engage and participate in the story as the poem is read out loud.

The piece played in the children sections across South London libraries, during the month of December 2012. The piece was made accessible for all interested and helped introduce children to different ways of understanding literature; using physical performance and music the story came alive in front of their eyes.

The piece is based on the poem, written by Clement Clark Moore and first published in 1823. The poem could arguably be the best-known verses ever written on the subject of Christmas, the childish joy and thrill of Santa Claus. The poem is largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus the mid-nineteenth century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, as well as the tradition that he brings toys to children. Prior to the poem, people’s ideas about St. Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably. The poem has influenced ideas about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus from the United States to the rest of the world.