A week before Christmas, in an East-End pub, hard-bitten landlord Michael Macraw awaits the arrival of his customers.
In comes Billy-Lee Russell, who has just found out who his father was and that his mother has started smoking cannabis to “ease her arthritis”.
Also drinking is Giuseppe Rossi, an elderly barber who has taken pride in charging the same price for the past five years and bemoans the emergence of “hair-care centres” and “hair surgeons”.
They are joined by a series of mysterious punters who perform magic tricks and search for Pekinese dogs.
Last of all comes Charlie Anderson: ex-classical-musician-turned-postman who seeks to unearth the regulars deepest secrets with a series of jokes, anecdotes and searing interrogations which disturb what little security they posses.
As the evening progresses and the drink flows, it emerges that one of them has a secret he dare not share…
Christmas is a hidden gem by acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens, revived by Spellbound Productions and London’s The White Bear Theatre.
The drama, being directed by Michael Kingsbury, explores the lives and obsessions of four souls in the city as they confront their pasts and prepare for their futures.
It is the story of hope, disappointment, the abandonment of dreams and the need to move on and face what is ahead.
The cast comprises Ralph Aiken, William Ely, James Groom and Lionel Guyett.
Simon Stephens is one of Britain’s foremost playwrights whose work includes Motortown (Royal court), Harper Regan (Royal National Theatre) and Wonderland (Royal Court Theatre).
His multi-award adaptation of The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night transferred from the National to the West-End and recently opened on Broadway.
Christmas runs from November 25 – December 21 at the White Bear Theatre, Kennington Park Road.