This Christmas, Chester Zoo’s animal-inspired, illuminated festive family event will be brought to life for the first time by outdoor arts producers Wild Rumpus and extended online through a partnership with The Space, the digital commissioning agency supported by BBC and Arts Council England.
The zoo is set to be transformed into a Magical Sorting Office which comes to life as twilight falls, filled with theatrical performance, dance and live music. This lantern-lit fairy tale world will include large scale theatrical experiences such as Antelope Narnia, an Andean Bear Airship, Insect Orchestra and Flamingo Lounge. Audiences can adventure through a magical, illuminated route filled with sacks of toys and presents and life-sized animal lanterns. There is even the chance to post your letter to Father Christmas and spot him with his helpers busy making all the animal wishes at the zoo come true.
Working with The Space, a series of six short animated animal stories, narrated by Lauren Laverne, will be released on Wild Rumpus Facebook, twitter and Instagram channels from the 25 November. In addition, the company will produce a Facebook frame for audiences to share their own festive wishes.
Sarah Bird, Director of Wild Rumpus, says “We are so excited to be working with the team at The Space on The Lanterns experience to extend access to this enchanting, theatrical event online so that audiences can get even more out of this unique experience and so that those who can’t attend can still be involved.
Alex Knight, spokesperson at Chester Zoo, said: “Christmas at the zoo is always very special, but this year it’s going to have some added magic. The Lanterns is our animal-inspired fairy tale, revealing the charming story of the zoo’s Magical Sorting Office. It should last long in the memory… and it’s wonderful to see that the event will reach even bigger audiences digitally this year thanks to The Space’s involvement.”
Fiona Morris, CEO and Creative Director of The Space said “We’re delighted to be supporting Wild Rumpus by extending their Christmassy adventures at Chester Zoo to a whole new audience online. The beautiful animations deliver a charming Christmas message and can be enjoyed by families everywhere.”
Early booking online is recommended. Tickets for the event, which is running from 24 November – 30 December, range from £12-17.50 for adults and £5 -£15 for children. Infants age 2 and under are free. Book online at www.chesterzoo.org/lanterns
Ticket sales from The Lanterns help to fund Chester Zoo’s work as a conservation charity, fighting to prevent the extinction of threatened species at home in the UK and around the world.