Ah, September. Time to enjoy the last, hazy days of summer before the leaves start to turn and the air becomes crisper. The perfect season, in many ways. And what better way to enjoy it than thinking about what you'll see at the theatre in the week before Christmas?
Before you throw things at the screen or hurl your phone into the Thames, there's a reason we're bringing this up. It's so you don't curse us later when these gigs have sold out. When Robin Ince announced the end of Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People — a series of shows celebrating science, so popular they sold out the Hammersmith Apollo, with guests including Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins (before he got a Twitter account and went a bit haywire), Alan Moore, Kate Tempest and Stewart Lee — we suspected that wouldn't be it. Robin Ince has far too busy a brain for that.
And we were right. Between 15-21 December he's putting together a series of shows at Bloomsbury Theatre named Christmas Ghosts. Some of the confirmed contributors will look familiar to Godless watchers (Phill Jupitus, Josie Long, Ben Goldacre, Stewart Lee, Natalie Haynes) but it's a bit tighter thematically: the 15th will celebrate Christmas Past and the last 4,000 years of civilisation, the 16th and 17th look at Christmas Yet to Come and the future, while the 20th and 21st are all about Christmas Present and the last 50 years of human imagination. And on 18th and 19th December, Robin and Brian Cox move back to the Hammersmith Apollo for a Christmas Compendium.
During the same period, if you'd like to take the kids out to something science-y and rational, there's the Santa Claus Science Experiment also at Bloomsbury Theatre. Written by Howard Read and Tiernan Douieb, it's a panto that puts the science back into Christmas. It's on at various times during the week — mornings, lunchtimes and evenings — so you don't even have to worry about busting bedtime.
The Bloomsbury shows run 15-21 December at Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street WC1. Tickets for Christmas Ghosts cost £25 / £15 and tickets for The Santa Clause Science Experiment cost £17.50 / £15, all plus booking fee. The Christmas Compendium runs 18-19 December at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, and tickets cost £30 / £45.
Find out more about Christmas in London.