A HOST of famous faces including comedians, musicians and actors are taking part in a virtual advent calendar to help support a local theatre.

Usually over the festive season, Chipping Norton Theatre would be in the midst of its pantomime, however due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was unable to take place this year.

Instead, the theatre has turned to old friends and local celebrities to help out, in the hope of raising £12,000.

The theatre’s Sasha Buckman organised the virtual advent calendar, with a series of stars taking part.

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She said: “This is such an exciting project and it has been so much fun putting it together.

“All the artists have some affinity with the theatre, being either local or having graced our stage in the past.

“We have a real eclectic mix of performers and a proper community feeling which was exactly what we were aiming for with this festive treat.”

Kicking off the calendar later today will be the comedian Jack Dee, famous for his deadpan humour and regular appearances on QI and Have I Got News for You.

Oxford Mail:

Among the other celebrities taking part, Christmas treats to keep an eye out for are a festive recipe from The Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith (December 11), while on December 15, Alex James from Blur will talk all things Chipping Norton.

The bassist’s farm is located in Kingham, near Chipping Norton.

Other famous faces involved include actor Sir Ben Kingsley and comedian Dom Joly, while theatre fans can also look forward to pantomime dame Andrew Pepper, theatre dog Nemo and appearances from members of Chipping Norton Youth Theatre.

Oxford Mail:

The theatre has also been the recent recipient of a financial boost from West Oxfordshire District Council with a £12,934 Community Facilities Grant given for an upgrade to the lighting and sound system at the theatre.

Advent calendar clips will be available from 8pm every day across the theatre’s social media platforms.

Although it is free to watch the clips, the theatre is urging people to donate to help it reach its £12,000 goal.

To find out more and donate, please visit: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/chippytheatre