Arts & Culture
Christmas at Wiltshire Creative announced: including Winter Wanderland, events, crafts and festive entertainment for all

By Tyler Ody



The full Christmas programme at Wiltshire Creative has been announced, including festive main house production at Salisbury PlayhouseSnow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon by Mike Akers alongside a programme of festive events and activities in the beautiful deconstructed church of Salisbury Arts Centre. The extensive Christmas offering continues Wiltshire Creative’s commitment to cultural recovery and community togetherness, whilst enhancing creativity among audiences of all ages.

Wiltshire Creative will also take part in Winter Wanderland this year, an initiative transforming streets into magical outdoor galleries with lit up window displays. Between 4-7 November 2021, Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury Arts Centre will be illuminated with enchanting window displays drawing on themes of hope, positivity, and triumphing over darker times. 

Gareth Machin, Wiltshire Creative’s Artistic Director said today, “We’re delighted that Salisbury Arts Centre will offer a distinctive festive offer this year for young and old alike. It is a magical space and I’m sure our programme will bring much joy to all of our community.

Juliet Coveney, Salisbury Arts Centre Manager said today, “We are so pleased to be able to offer a diverse range of shows and activities this December at Salisbury Arts Centre.  This exciting programme offers something for everyone; if that be nights out with friends, craft workshops for children and adults as well as an endearing family show plus so much more.”

Alongside the previously announced Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon by Mike Akers, the Christmas programme at Wiltshire Creative includes a one-off performance of Long Nose Puppets family show The Hug on 11 December.

For festive evening entertainment, 5-piece jazz band Jazz Dynamos will perform at the Arts Centre on 10 December, well known songs from the 1970s and ‘80s, transforming them with a mix of jazz, bossa, and samba. Their unique set of original, contemporary jazz arrangements includes hits by, amongst others, Dolly Parton, Madonna, U2, Police, a-ha and Britney Spears. Celebrate all things 80s television mysteries had to offer with Tim Benzie’s Solve-Along-Murder-Mystery on 3 December, a live ‘solve-along’ alongside a classic episode of Murder She Wrote. For comedy fans, there will be a festive edition of the popular Barnstormers comedy nights on 17 December.

The festive offering also includes ample opportunities to get creative in the studio spaces at Salisbury Arts Centre and its fully equipped pottery studio, including a five-week Make Your Christmas Decorations Pottery Workshop course and Christmas Wrapping Paper with Bridget TimoneyWillow Christmas Trees with Louise Brown, and Festive Crafts with Wiltshire Scrapstore.

The full festive programme of workshops and performances is now on-sale at

Salisbury Playhouse

Snow White and The Happy Ever After Beauty Salon

Written by Mike Akers

Music by Tayo Akinbode, Lyrics by Mike Akers, with additional songs by Christopher Peake.

3 December – 31 December 2021

Press night: Wednesday 8 December at 7pm


Director Gareth Machin; Designer James Button; Musical Director Christopher Peake; Choreographer Nicky Griffiths; Lighting Designer Nic Farman; Sound Designer Michael Scott;

Casting Director Gabrielle Dawes CDG

In a magical 1950s fairytale wonderland, young apprentice Snow is working hard in her Aunt Trish’s Beauty Salon. She curls the tails of the three little pigs, sharpens the teeth of the Big Bad Wolf, and perfectly sets Prince Charming’s quiff.

But, suddenly stumbling upon Aunt Trish’s magic mirror puts Snow’s life in peril.

Will she be able to survive as she heads underground and attempts to carve her own path to a happily ever after?

With toe-tapping live music, dazzling design, puppetry and laugh out loud entertainment, the show will delight the whole family this Christmas.


Salisbury Arts Centre

White Christmas: Make Your Christmas Decorations Pottery Workshop

Wednesday 3 November-Wednesday 1 December

A five-week course led by Bridget Timoney with opportunities to create a variety of 2D and 3D handmade decorations, including napkin holders, angels and festive nightlight holders to give as gifts and stocking fillers. For that White Christmas feel, the creations will be made from porcelain and white clay and can be embellished and glazed for that special shimmering effect. 

Bridget Timoney is a potterer, previously Visual Arts and Pottery Assistant at Salisbury Arts Centre. She studied ceramics at Limerick School of Art and Design, trained by Gus Mableson at the Thomastown Skills Course and has completed an Adopt a Potter apprenticeship with Julie Ayton.  

Festive Workshop: Willow Christmas Trees with Louise Brown

Wednesday 1 December, 6pm-8pm 

An evening of Christmas crafts, making delightful decorations at Salisbury Arts Centre to gift to friends or keep for beautiful homemade decorations. This workshop is led by willow basket-maker, Louise Brown, who has bundles of knowledge and passion for sustainable craft with previous work featuring in exhibitions at Salisbury Arts Centre. 

Tickets cost £22, including workshop materials.


Friday 3 December, 8pm  

Can you solve the crime before Cabot Cove’s best amateur sleuth?

Pit your wits against JB Fletcher at Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote, an interactive screening of a classic episode of Murder, She Wrote. Celebrate all things 80s television mysteries had to offer: contrived scenarios! No DNA evidence! Massive hair! Has-been guest stars! Taking centre stage is film and Broadway star Angela Lansbury as novelist and detective JB Fletcher.

Solve-Along-A-Muder-She-Wrote is hosted by Tim Benzie and features games, prizes and audience participation, with special permission from NBC Universal Television.


Festive Crafts with Wiltshire Scrapstore 

Saturday 4 December 10.15-11.00, 11.30-12.15 and 12.45-13.30 

A festive craft session for 4-7 year olds with Wiltshire Scrapstore, with a chance for children to develop their creativity in an inspiring and imaginative festive arts and craft session.   

Tickets cost £2 per child; adults do not require tickets.

Festive Workshop: Christmas Wrapping Paper with Bridget Timoney

Wednesday 8 December, 6pm-9pm 

An evening of craft with the chance to make unique festive wrapping paper at Salisbury Arts Centre, led by Bridget Timoney, an Irish potter based in Salisbury.

Tickets cost £21, including workshop materials.

Jazz Dynamos: Jazz’n’80s 

Friday 10 December, 8pm 

5-piece jazz band Jazz Dynamos will take well known songs from the 1970s and ‘80s, transforming them with a mix of jazz, bossa, and samba. Their unique set of original, contemporary jazz arrangements includes hits by, amongst others, Dolly Parton, Madonna, U2, Police, a-ha and Britney Spears. 

The Hug 

Saturday 11 December, 1.30pm 

A tale of hope, empathy and acceptance starring a Hedgehog and a Tortoise both in search of a restorative hug. They face many rejections along the way from a rather scary badger, a squirrel (who knows A LOT about nuts), a shy frog, a fabulous fox and an owl who really wants to be wise.  

Set to Tom Gray’s beautiful and witty music, the audience are invited on a journey full of fun, laughter and love…and at the end, a very special hug from our puppets.  

The Hug is presented by Long Nose Puppets and is based on the heart-warming and funny book ‘The Hug’ by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar.

Long Nose Puppets, founded by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar, make critically acclaimed puppet shows for young audiences. Their previous shows include Shoe Baby (Winner: Best Children’s Show at the Brighton Fringe Festival), Fly Away Katie, Penguin, Arthur’s Dream Boat , Pat-a-Cake Baby and Out of the Hat!.

Festive Barnstormers  

Friday 17 December, 8.30pm 

A night of up-and-coming stand-up comedians from the London comedy circuit introduced by a guest compere.

Festive Saturday Storytime 

Saturday 18th December, 10.30am – 11.15am

Join actor, musician and storyteller Iona Johnson as she takes you on a festive story time journey. Suitable for ages 3 to 6.     

Tickets cost £2 per child; adults do not require tickets.