Contemporary opera company OperaUpClose is set to host an online production of Sammy and the Beanstalk, a brand new ‘play-with-songs’ from director and writer Robin Norton-Hale and singer-songwriter Rosabella Gregory.

The performance is part of the company’s At Home project, allowing audiences to experience OperaUpClose’s work from home. It was financed via a crowdfunding campaign.

The show tells the story of Sammy and her dad. They used to make up stories together about giants and mix witches’ potions in the kitchen, but now something outside is frightening Sammy’s dad. So they stay inside their flat overlooking the city.

Dad’s fear of the outside world starts to take shape in unsettling, fairytale ways. Brambles and vines are creeping up the walls and tapping at the windows to get in. Can Sammy release her father from his illness in time to make Mum’s present with her, before Mum gets home for Christmas?

This fun, spooky and contemporary Christmas story is told from the perspective of eight-year-old Sammy. It’s about bravery and kindness, but also tackles the theme of isolation that we’ve all experienced over the past few months.

The part of Sammy is sung by soprano Abigail Kelly, while Dad is played by baritone Tom Stoddart.

Tickets cost £5 per individual or £20 for a family and are available from OperaUpClose’s website. Once you buy a ticket for the performance, you can watch it as many times as you like between now and 3 January 2021.

You can listen to a song from the production for free on OperaUpClose’s YouTube page. ‘There Once was a Girl’ is performed by Abigail Kelly, with words by Robin Norton-Hale and composed and mixed by Rosabella Gregory.


Soprano Abigail Kelly and baritone Tom Stoddart play the parts of Sammy and her dad in OperaUpClose’s new urban fairytale Sammy and the Beanstalk.