working in a winter wonderland

Sunday, 10 November 2013

So I'll say it.  Christmas really is just around the corner.  

With only 6 weeks or so to go the high street has got its sparkle on, and the make-you-sob-and-run-out-and-buy-presents-for-everyone-you-truly-love Christmas adverts are already on the telly (John Lewis, I'm looking at you).

While for many the time to start thinking about all things festive might only be just beginning, working in theatre means that my Christmas planning starts much earlier. 

Even though I spend my summer organising title launches and writing about wistful winter treats - the Christmas campaign is still my favourite to work on and I find myself bouncing and squealing at ever little last reveal of a sparkly tutu or glistening wonderland at the ballet.

A fun city-centre photo call with one of Scottish Ballet's ballerinas from earlier this week to launch the annual Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign.  I got to meet Santa early this year!
This year will be my 13th Christmas season - Scottish Ballet's Hansel & Gretel.  I've spent the last few weeks working on promotional opportunities with the senior makeup team at MAC, making decadent event plans with Blythswood Square and organising a very sweet treat for opening night guests.  

It all sounds very glamorous, and it is lots of fun - but it's a million miles away from my first Christmas campaign all those years ago, and one I'll never forget.

My PR career started at Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre.  One of the last-standing Variety Houses in the city where ghosts of Scottish greats mixed with big-name comics, touring boy bands and at Christmas - the pantomime.

Treasure Island featured a cast of Scottish stalwarts, the Mrs Brown's boys ensemble - with the Irish mammy herself playing the pantomime dame and a very special celebrity guest.

Now I've booked Limousine services in London for all sorts of important clients, but my first Glasgow encounter?  A gleaming, glamorous stretch limousine to take this special star to an important city-centre press photo-call.  A very special star who had to be pushed bottom-first into the limo, lay flat out in the back seat, and stuck his head out the window to wave to stunned passers by throughout the city centre route.  None other than… Mr Blobby.

And we blobby-blobby-blobbied all the way to the city's George Square - the centre of Glasgow's Christmas activities, with its sparkling lights, and traditional victorian outdoors ice-rink, where with one hefty push on his pink, padded behind I deposited our loud, hyper pantomime star from his luxurious limousine with one loud Blobbbbbby!

I'll never forget the mixed looks of utter glee and sheer panic on people's faces as he rolled over onto his bottom, pulled himself up and ran at speed straight onto the glistening ice rink, waving his arms wildly, screaming Blobby! and falling flat on his googly eyed face.  The best Christmas present ever.

The Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign launches this week, on Thursday 14 November with the big-switch on of the Christmas lights at George Square.  Glasgow on Ice returns to George Square from 23 November until 5 January.  George Square will also play host to colourful funfair rides and free entertainment in the Christmas Marquee.  

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  1. I can't wait for Christmas either, although the elves in St Enoch last week were a little early even for me! x

    1. ha!! it's never too early for Christmas, Lori ... well ... ;) x