CHRISTMAS tunes with a twist... that’s what’s in store for audiences who snap up tickets to a seasonal celebration at the Palace Theatre in Westcliff.

Billed as “a unique celebratory show of Christmas music on renaissance and modern instruments.”, Carols & Capers with Maddy and the Carnival Band, is guaranteed to be an evening to remember.

Folk singing queen Maddy Prior and her musical gang will be putting their inimitable stamp on familiar and not-so-familiar festive fare with a refreshing cavalier attitude and plenty of humour.

Together they mix renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a refreshing cavalier attitude.

Tossed together back in 1984 on a ‘let’s see what we come up with’ basis for a Yuletide Radio 2 broadcast, what began as a one-off session in a village hall in Cumbria has endured for over twenty years and has become something of a tradition in its own right.

Fortunately it shows little danger of fossilization as both parties keep coming up with new ideas.

The 2001 collaboration and fifth album, of “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh” introduced a good deal of Arabic and African-influenced music into the equation. The next project explored the lives of eighteenth century female soldiers and the ballads they inspired.

Now and for the first time, the very best of these have been brought together on one album. “The Best Of Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band” collects twenty two tracks from across their career.

Along the way you will find a mixture of the familiar and the less well known, all presented in a most unique style.

With an extensive experience in folk, medieval, world and classical music between them, the singer and players guide the audience to exquisite places. Telling the Christmas story in a variety of ways, the likes of ‘I Saw Three Ships’, ‘While Shepherds Watched’, ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘The Holly Ivy’ are revealed as versatile, striking pieces of music with words to match.

The show will be on at the Palace Theatre in Westcliff on Monday December 3. Tickets range from £19.50 up to £25.50.

Call the box office on 01702 351135 to book or log onto