The festive season has started. Winter craft fairs are in full swing and choirs are rehearsing for the traditional carol concert. This year, however, Merton is about to have a surprising and different experience in the run up to Christmas: fledgling production house Bobblehat is preparing to open door number one on London’s first ever real life Advent calendar.
The idea is simple: at a set time each December day, Mertonians (suggestions, please, for the right collective noun for the Mertonese) will follow clues to a real door, and waiting behind it they will find performers ready to put on a show. An award-winning singer, a Fringe comedy duo, a magic show, an X-Factor dancer, an alternative Shakespeare troupe and Father Christmas are all on standby, and many more. Effectively it’s a 24 day pop-up arts festival, set in Wimbledon, with most of the events suitable for kids – and best of all every show is free, thanks to sponsorship from Love Wimbledon. Read my preview for more details, and keep checking the Bobblehat website to find the next door.
Christmas grottos are starting to open. The Centre Court shopping centre’s Magical Grotto is already ensuring children’s requests reach Santa (£4 with gift), while Father Christmas and his elves arrive tomorrow in the stable yard at Morden Hall Park (£10 with gift, booking essential). Ely’s department store Circus Grotto opens next Thursday, November 30 (£5.95 with gift). Children can make festive gifts such as pomanders and beeswax candles in Christmas Crafts workshops at Morden Hall Park for the next three weekends: 10am-5pm November 25-26, December 2-3 and 9-10, £4.50 per child, booking unnecessary.
If you can recite the Parrot Sketch, you have probably already bought your tickets for Spamalot, Eric Idle’s side-splitting Arthurian musical based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Peopled by farting Frenchmen, knights who say “Nih”, a vampy Lady of the Lake and a killer rabbit, the show is on at New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday – read the Culture Vulture’s review.
Enjoy your week, and keep your eyes on Twitter for more cultural stuff coming up in Merton