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Christmas Market opening collaboration!

Play to the Crowd has teamed up with Winchester Cathedral to organise a variety of exciting performances to celebrate the opening of this year’s Christmas Market.

The opening ceremony will take place on the 19th November 2021 in the Inner Close, and will be centred around the new community stage which has been constructed at the heart of the market.

This year, the stage will be used to host local acts from across Hampshire, including choir groups, community bands, school choirs, city buskers, jazz groups and more, who will perform across all weekends, throughout the duration of the Christmas Market.

The Very Revd Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester and Cllr Vivian Achwal, Mayor of Winchester will officially announce the opening of the market, which will be followed by a choral performance from the Girl Choristers.

To bring a sense of excitement and fun, visitors will be treated to a live performance from the Halo Glow Show (presented by Hat Fair, part of Play to the Crowd), an explosive visual stage act which incorporates illuminated hula hoops, juggling clubs and ‘hyperlight’ poi which will illuminate the complex patterns and textures drawn in the air by four virtuoso circus artists.

Alison Evans, Chief Operating Officer at Winchester Cathedral said, “The collaboration between Winchester Cathedral and Play to the Crowd is pivotal in the continued recovery of cultural activity in the heart of the city. With the arts playing an absolutely essential part in people’s well-being, we trust that the wonderful variety of performances planned for the opening ceremony and throughout the duration of the market, will bring a huge amount of pleasure to both children and adults from our local community as we celebrate the start of the festive period.”

To premiere and champion new works and rising talent, Play to the Crowd’s community and creative learning strand, Playmakers, has organised a Word Walk which will see writers and improvisation artists engage with visitors by performing short pop-up shortpieces of writing to the public plays and narratives. The Word Walk artists will perform around the Christmas Market on the 19th and 25th November.

Andrew Loretto, Hat Fair and Playmakers Director for Play to the Crowd said, “I’m so pleased we can bring live performance to this year’s Christmas Market after last year’s lockdown. I look forward to light, colour, sound and creative writing bringing some festive spirit to the mix of Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market offer.”

The Christmas Market will be open daily from Friday 19 November – Sunday 22 December from 10.00am, until 6.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and 8.00pm Thursday to Saturday. Admission to the Christmas Market is free.