Dame Arlene Philips, Gemma Collins and Gok Wan were among the famous faces who have celebrated the 25th anniversary of the stage adaptation of The Snowman.
The beloved children’s story was created in 1978 by Raymond Briggs, who died in August aged 88.
The tale of a young boy and the snowman that comes to life became a festive staple after it was made into an animated version for Channel 4 in 1982 and has been shown on TV every Christmas since.
It was adapted into a stage show that first appeared on stage at the Contact Theatre, Manchester, in 1986 before being produced by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for the first time in 1993. Since 1997, Sadler’s Wells has presented it every year as the Christmas show at the Peacock Theatre in the West End.
The stage adaptation features music by Howard Blake, including the Christmas hit Walking In The Air made popular by singer Aled Jones.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the theatre show, a charity gala performance took place at the theatre in London on Saturday.
Celebrities in attendance included actress Dani Harmer, Gavin And Stacey star Alison Steadman, comedian Josh Widdicombe and Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.
They were joined by a host of young people and carers who have been or are supported by the charity, Action for Children, across the country.
Dame Arlene said: “It’s safe to say that we all have left Peacock Theatre with goosebumps after watching The Snowman.
“It feels extra special to have shared the experience with my grandchildren and so many wonderful young people and young carers – watching the show is a great way of getting into the Christmas spirit.
“As exciting as the festive season can be, it’s also a very tough time for some families – even more so now.
“Action For Children’s Secret Santa campaign helps put the magic back into a child’s Christmas and every penny can make a huge difference.”
Melanie Armstrong, chief executive at Action For Children, added: “We’re hugely grateful to the wonderful team at Sadler’s Wells for inviting our children, young people and their families along to this special performance.
“The Snowman is a classic and loved by so many generations – the perfect day out for the whole family.”
Tickets for The Snowman on stage are available from now until December 31 2022.