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The California Revels in Annual Christmas Revels To Celebrate the Winter Solstice


A theatrical celebration of the Winter Solstice as told through the music, drama, dance and traditions of the 19th century English countryside is the annual Christmas Revels that has entertained Bay Area families for over two decades. This highly regarded holiday presentation features comic actor, Geoff Hoyle and is directed by David Parr. The festive pageant revolves around the story of a “Songcatcher” whose purpose is to collect the songs, dances, and village traditions that mark the turning of the year.


The Songcatcher encounters a variety of entertaining characters on his journey – from church wardens and farmers, to pub keepers, spinsters, and even the itinerant music hall performer, each personality has a bit of traditional lore to share with him and the audience.


Each year the beloved traditions of the Abbots Bromley Stag Horn Dance and the Sussex Mummers Carol are   highlighted in the pageant, and each audience is invited to dance through the halls singing the traditional “Lord of the Dance” chorus.

Special guest artists have included Christmas Revels, Geoff Hoyle has clowned with Cirque du Soleil, The Pickle Family Circus, and Circus Flora. He performed solos "Feast of Fools" and "The Convict's Return" (commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre) in New York, San Francisco, Paris, London, and the former Soviet Union, and at various regional theatres in the U.S. and England.  He received five NEA grants and an ArtsLink grant to visit circuses in Latvia and Russia. He created the role of Zazu (Drama Desk nomination: Best Featured Actor in a Musical) in the original Broadway cast of "The Lion King."

World class talent and a delightful story will make Revelers of all who attend and who are taken on an unforgettable trip through the English countryside. The Christmas Revels is supported by the Oakland City Council and funded by the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program.