SCHOOL pupils from Warrington will be among 500 performers helping to kick-start the festive season as Liverpool One hosts its live Christmas event this Friday.

Featuring pop-up pantomimes, singing elves, Santa, and the talents of hundreds of local young people, the free event promises to bring a "non-stop party to launch the festive season".

Taking place from 4pm until 8pm, Liverpool One Christmas Live! will give visitors of all ages the unique opportunity to catch a sneak peek of some of the region’s best festive performances.

The line-up will include the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from the Liverpool Empire; the cast of Wind in the Willows from Shakespeare North; and the cast of pantomimes Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan at the M&S Bank Arena.

Warrington Guardian: Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryCharlie and the Chocolate Factory (Image: Liverpool One)

In addition to the pop-up pantos, joining the festivities for the first time are hundreds of schoolchildren and community groups who will perform across multiple areas of Liverpool One to help spread some yuletide cheer.

As part of the preparations, since February Liverpool One has worked closely with Liverpool Empire’s Creative Learning team and 250 pupils from 20 schools and colleges across Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington, Halton and Sefton, alongside the Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre Academy, to create a number of performances exclusively for the event.

Among them will be pupils from Great Sankey High School.

Warrington Guardian: Community SchoolsCommunity Schools (Image: Liverpool One)

Natalie Flynn, Senior Creative Learning Manager at The Liverpool Empire Theatre, said: "We’ve been working hard behind the scenes for a few months to help local young people hone their talents and create something very special for Liverpool One’s Christmas launch night.

"Our team have been incredibly impressed by the talent and the dedication from everyone involved, so we cannot wait to showcase what we have been working on together – I’ve no doubt it will be a truly memorable and magical performance."

The night will be hosted by some familiar faces, including Radio City’s Leanne Campbell and Alex Toal; Jay Hynd and Gemma Cutting from The Guide Liverpool; Lizzie Acker from Channel 4’s 2021 season of ‘The Great British Bake Off’; and Liverpool actress and comedian, Kay Nicholson.

Making their return will be Santa with his singing elves, festive characters and plenty of choirs, ensuring everyone is in the Christmas spirit all night, plus Bar Hütte will be in full swing underneath Liverpool One’s Christmas tree on Chavasse Park.

Acts include dancers from Mature Movers and Create Dance Wirral, along with singers from Royal Court Community Choir and Mersey Voices Choir and a pop-up appearance from competitors from Strongest Nation at M&S Arena.

The evening will conclude with a simultaneous performance of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ across all performance areas.

'Our region is a hot bed of talent'

Donna Howitt, Place Strategy Director at Liverpool One, said: "We are now just days away from officially launching Christmas at Liverpool One, and this year we are involving more performers than ever before.

"Our pop-up pantomimes are always a crowd-pleaser as there really is nowhere else you can catch a sneak peek of what’s to come across the city during the festive season.

"The line-up we have this year looks amazing and I know our performers will put on an incredible show.

"Our region is a hot bed of talent, we’re also excited to welcome hundreds of young people who will be performing across Liverpool One to entertain visitors.

"The scale of involvement with young people is a first for Liverpool One and we have loved working in conjunction with the Liverpool Empire Creative Learning Team to create something very special that will no doubt inject plenty of festive cheer to everyone watching on the night.

"We can’t wait to kick off Christmas and we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to experience it with us."

Also launching this Friday will be a Christmas Trail, offering youngsters the chance to discover illuminated reindeers, angel wings, Christmas trees and festive characters hidden in shop windows.

Running until January 1, those completing the trail will get a free sticker sheet and the chance to win a £250 Liverpool One gift card.

For further information about Liverpool ONE Christmas Live! and all things Christmas visit: