Little elves and their grown-ups invited to theatre’s festive toyshop

A magical toyshop has opened its doors to theatre-goers in Durham this week.

Once Upon a Christmas is the latest family show to be produced at the Gala Theatre in Durham, and is set to entertain audiences until Sunday, 30 December.

The drama unfolds in a traditional toyshop, the kind of magical establishment where warm light floods out onto the street, inviting children of all ages to choose their favourite toy.

But this year the lights are a little dimmer and a disheartened toymaker is thinking about giving up.

Luckily, two magical creatures will not let that happen, and families are invited to come along to discover if the festive mission is a success.

Written by Susan Mulholland and directed by Kate Sorahan, Once Upon a Christmas is a heart-warming story of the power of kindness, with designer Katy Gardner’s beautiful scenery and costumes adding to the festive atmosphere.

Jo Cundall, arts programme manager at the Gala Theatre, said: “There is nothing more exciting for children than a visiting a toyshop to choose a new toy, especially at Christmas time. But what is so special about Once Upon a Christmas is that it celebrates the joy of giving gifts and helping others, which is what the festive season is all about.

“I am sure the littlest elves and their grown-ups will love this heart-warming story.”

The play runs from Thursday, 29 November, until Sunday, 30 December with various performance times available. Tickets cost from £7 to £8 or £28 to £30 for a family ticket.

For more information or to book, call 03000 266 600 or visit