Storm-damaged Eastbourne venue stages festive fund-raising show

Kringle is a new Christmas production brought to the stage by Printers Playhouse in Eastbourne – a show which comes at a difficult time for the venue.
The Kringle cast and crew (contributed pic)The Kringle cast and crew (contributed pic)
The Kringle cast and crew (contributed pic)

Spokesman Neil Russell explains: “All was going well for Printers, business flourishing and winning a prestigious award at the Eastbourne Business Awards for our creative excellence. Then the next day the heavy rain from the storms flooded the venue, damaging the electrics, the walls and the roof. Little did we realise how much the community would put its arms round us to try to keep us afloat. But we still need financial help to cover the repairs to all the damage”, Neil said. “People coming along to the play at the Birley Centre and businesses sponsoring us will help a lot.”

Kringle arrives at the Birley Centre on December 16 and 17.

Neil added: “We all remember our first letter to Santa but who wrote the first letter? Kringle is a new Christmas production brought to the stage by Printers Playhouse. Jack, a failing trainee postman, is shaken from his cosy life with a comfortable bed and cappuccinos and despatched to the cold, clan-warring Christmas-hating isle in the outermost Outer Hebrides to set up a postal service all by himself. All seems hopeless until he meets fishmonger Anna and an old woodsman Nick Kringle and then ….. well, that would spoil the story! The cast, design and technical crew are all drawn from the local community and are taking part for their ninth year but face the worry that this might be the last.”

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The Creative Excellence award was a big moment – then came the storm: “An emergency rescue fund has been established to put the damage right but is short of what is needed to secure its future. We need to raise £7.5k. So far we have got £2.5k which is an awesome amount from the community in such a short time but the shortfall is a daunting amount for us.”

Viv Berry, director and producer said: “The community came together to support us through the pandemic and we are so moved that, as in our play, there are Jacks, Annas and Nicks coming together again now in our time of need. Eastbourne has a wealth of talent at all ages for acting, singing and dancing and we are privileged to be able to nuture and showcase this. We are working tirelessly to make sure we can continue.”

Willow Dzendzera, aged nine, who plays Neive, Nick Kringle’s leading elf, said: “I love being part of the show, learning and performing at the same time. The rehearsals are hard work and good fun and the show will be great.” Writer John Berry said “The recent Business Award shows that Printers Playhouse stands out in Eastbourne as a hub for performing high-quality new writing.

The show has matinee and evening performances on both December 16 and 17 at the Birley Centre on Carlisle Road, Eastbourne. Discounts for group bookings. This year too there are sponsorship packages for businesses – helping a fantastic local group and providing a pre-Christmas treat for their team, Viv said: “For more details of our show, visit, pop in and see us on Grove Road or email us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from prospective sponsors too.”