By Rosie MacPherson


Archipelago Arts Collective and Alphabetti Theatre

Supported by Arts Council England and Bradford Producing Hub

‘Raw, raucous and righteously angry piece of festive gig-theatre with engaging performances and catchy, clever songs”
The Stage

“If you’re looking for a slice of anarchic, festive fun then look no further than Santa Must Die!
Exeunt Magazine

“Please sir, can I have the night off?”

Nadia might just be the next big thing. She’s lead singer of The North’s greatest Punk band this side of the Seventies and for one night only they’re playing her local. It’s just it’s Christmas eve and Santa is a bad boss.

Unending queues of demanding, entitled customers, minimum wage, no time off, unpaid overtime, zero hours contract. It’s about time the elves staged a riot.

Santa Must Die! is a raucous new gig theatre show for the gig economy at the most difficult time of the year! A different kind of Christmas story about it being really sh*t when Xmas is all work and no play, about finding joy in unexpected places, and fighting against that which is meant to keep you down.

Made in conversation with local people in Bradford and Newcastle who have experience of working on zero hours contracts at Christmas time.

Project History

Santa Must Die! was commissioned by Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle to be a part of their reopening season of new work. The R&D process was supported by Bradford Producing Hub, allowing us to engage local gig economy workers in Bradford and Newcastle to feed into the development of the show. The run was unfortunately curtailed by Covid-19 in December 2021 due to the Omicron variant, and only played 4 of its 16 planned performances.

We are now actively seeking future production opportunities for Santa Must Die! – specifically for venues who want a great alternative Christmas studio show for 2023 and to give the show the run it deserved! To request the production pack and/or video of the show at Alphabetti, please email Producer, Grace Dickson.

Creative Team & Cast

Writer Rosie MacPherson
Directors Beth Knight & Laurence Young
Composer & Musician Sean Ryan
Lyricists Laurence Young & Sean Ryan
Set & Costume Designer Anna Robinson
Lighting Designer Louise Gregory
Video Designer Matt Powell
Technical Stage Manager Nick Tyler
Production Manager Elske Waite
Producer Grace Dickson
Assistant Producer to Grace Dickson Rory Thomas-Howes
PR Chloe Nelkin Consulting

Cast Rhian Liu & Robin Ravi

Credit: Matt Jamie

Photography James Vardy