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Christmas Presence Lights up the Stage

An original 2022 story sponsored by Pacific Theatre

When Ian Farthing steps into the spotlight at Pacific Theatre this December, he’ll be renewing a tradition that’s become a holiday season highlight for in-the-know locals. Back for its 31st year in 2022, Christmas Presence is the annual festive show at the intimate, hidden gem South Granville performance space––and it’s unlike any other seasonal entertainment in the city.


“It’s a bit like having a live Christmas cabaret in your living room,” says Farthing, who alternates onstage hosting duties during this year’s six-night run with Ron Reed. “It’s basically an improvised holiday show––unplugged and casual––with different performers on stage every evening.”


Starting at 8pm, that rolling cavalcade of artistes typically comprises musicians, actors, comedians and more. And the content can include stories, poems, readings, comic skits and even short scenes from plays––plus songs and performances from a gaggle of ever-changing musical entertainers. 


“Depending on the performers, the music on any given night can be traditional and familiar or it can take a more jazzy direction with lots of riffing,” says Farthing, adding that the diverse roster of musicians already planning to appear this year include Tom Pickett, Michael Hart and The Kwerks.


“We plan the evening’s show on the day, based on who we know will be coming to perform,” says Farthing. “But whoever is on stage, it’s always a joyous night shared by the performers and the audience. Our audiences love that they don't know who they will be seeing until they take their seats––it’s like unwrapping a gift.”


The theatre's annual Christmas Presence show, adds Farthing, is also a calm and warming respite from the sometimes-frenetic pace of the holiday season. And it’s a night of heartfelt entertainment intended for every age group. “This show is a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the music and readings. We like to see it as both a balm for the soul and a warm hug of an evening.”


Pacific Theatre’s Christmas Presence show runs from December 11 to 13 and December 20 to 22 (at 8pm). Tickets are from $35. For more information and to book tickets, visit the show’s official website.

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