RNCM, WFEL Fairey Band and Aardman present Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas

The RNCM, in partnership with the WFEL Fairey Band and Aardman, is presenting Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas with live accompaniment on Sunday 17 December.

A festive treat for families, this magical screening forms part of the RNCM’s annual Christmas Family Day and includes a new transcription of Tom Howe’s engrossing score for brass band, transcribed by the award-winning WFEL Fairey Band and performed here for the first time. Two screenings will take place during the day, alongside lots of creative activities, interactive workshops, and musical treats.

WFEL Fairey Band, which enjoys a strong connection to the Manchester conservatoire, will be joined by students from the RNCM’s brass department, who use this incredible opportunity to enhance their professional development.

Fiona Stuart, Head of Creative Engagement said: ‘We’re very proud to be partnering with the WFEL Fairey Band and Aardman Animation for our annual Family Day. The premiere of this Christmas classic, with live brass band, promises to be a real festive treat for Manchester families and supports the RNCM’s commitment to staging exciting and innovative new work for local audiences.’

The RNCM and WFEL Fairey Band are no stranger to Aardman, having presented a live screening of the Academy Award® winning short film Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers last year as part of the Band’s 30th anniversary tour.

WFEL Fairey Band’s James Parkinson said: ‘We’re delighted that following the success of our 2023 tour, Aardman and the RNCM were keen to work with us on this innovative Christmas project. It’s been many months of work which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the RNCM. We’re looking forward introducing live brass band performances to a wider audience like the Wrong Trousers Tour did so well.’

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas tells the story of Christmas Eve at Mossy Bottom Farm where Shaun’s seasonal excitement turns to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings inadvertently leads to Timmy getting lost in the local Christmas market. Shaun’s rescue mission to town goes horribly wrong when a gift box containing Timmy disappears off in a 4×4 driven by Farmer Ben, a local celebrity and influencer. Can Shaun save the day and get Timmy home in time for Christmas? Or has Shaun finally met his match in Farmer Ben’s feisty daughter, Ella? Prepare for an explosive high-wire ending as everyone learns the true value of Christmas!

The score for Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas has been specially transcribed for brass band for this unique tour screening in association with Aardman and Tom Howe. Two performances take place at the RNCM on Sunday 17 December as part of its Christmas Family Day. Tickets for the morning and afternoon sessions cost £13 each (including a £1 booking fee). Click here for full information

6 December 2023