It was kind of fitting that a festive family show was unwrapped in Norwich just a day after the passing of the man behind probably the greatest Christmas song of all time.

The Xmas Pop Party landed at Norwich’s intimate Maddermarket Theatre on Friday (December 1), just a day or so after the death of Shane MacGowan, frontman of The Pogues and writer of The Fairytale of New York.

The Christmas cracker was touchingly among a sackful of festive favourites that warmed the hearts of the audience like chestnuts roasting on an open fire on what had been a bitterly cold start to December.

Norwich Evening News: Pip Randelle at the Xmas Pop PartyPip Randelle at the Xmas Pop Party (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)The seasonal shenanigans from the team behind Halloween hit The Monster Club, was introduced by funnyman Pip Randelle.

Like a conductor Randelle was at the centre of the show directing and pulling together the other set pieces with an infectious comic charm whether he was trying to wrap a present or launch giant inflatable snowballs into the audience.

Norwich Evening News: Inflatable snowball fun at the Xmas Pop PartyInflatable snowball fun at the Xmas Pop Party (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)The talented Joe Ringer reached almost every note as he and his band belted out a collection of Christmas hits with the help of the Xmas Pop Party starlets.

Norwich Evening News: Joe Ringer and the Xmas Pop Party StarletsJoe Ringer and the Xmas Pop Party Starlets (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)Like a jingle bells juke box the 90-minute performance included winter wonders like Merry Christmas Everyone, Last Christmas, I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day, Walking in the Air, Santa Baby and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You.

From start to finish it was a seasonal celebration bringing tinsel, turkey and gifts aplenty to  families who had come dressed in an array of colourful knitwear for some festive cheer.

Norwich Evening News: Father Christmas at Xmas Pop PartyFather Christmas at Xmas Pop Party (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)Not even The Grinch could spoil the party as Santa Claus himself made an appearance in this magical, Merry Ho-Ho-Ho and total gift of a show which ensured Christmas really did come early.

The Xmas Pop Party is at the Maddermarket Theatre today (Saturday, December 2) at 6pm and tomorrow (Sunday, December 3) at 1pm and 5pm.

To find out more log onto or call 01603 620917.