We know it's completely insane to think about Christmas while the sun is blazing away outside, but tickets for Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People at the Bloomsbury Theatre in December are now on sale and they're always popular.
Robin Ince's annual Yuletide series of shows with comedians and scientists has sold out since it started in 2008. Ince was prompted by appearing on a show that ended up as one of those 'who do councils think they are, banning Christmas' things. In a 2008 article for New Humanist, he explained his thinking further:
I said, “Actually I think Christmas is good, it’s nice to have some time for reflection,” and Stephen Green [of Christian Voice], who was in the audience, sat there saying, “I don’t think he does like Christmas, I don’t think he is happy with there being Christmas.” So that was why I decided I would get together a 20-piece orchestra and a choir, and assorted atheist and agnostic comedians... and some scientists.
Already people are annoyed, saying, “Oh, typical, you’re just having a go at Christians.” Well we’re not. When we say we’re having a Godless celebration, that means no god at all, from any religion.
And here we are, in its sixth year, with 10 nights scheduled. Guests confirmed so far include Alexei Sayle, Darren Hayman, Lee Mack, Josie Long, Helen Arney, Matt Parker, Steve Mould (these three being collectively Festival of the Spoken Nerd, but appearing separately), Jim al Khalili, Marcus du Sautoy, John Hegley, Joanna Neary, Grace Petrie, Mark Watson and many others – and Robin Ince being Robin Ince, we know he'll continue working to add guests right up til they go on stage.
Nine Lessons and Carols is at the Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street WC1 on 10, 11, 15-22 December 2013. Tickets are £25 / £15 + booking fee. For more information see the Bloomsbury Theatre website.