​The Christmas Dream Machine Lit Up Hanley With Fireworks and Christmas spirit!

Posted in Blog on by Kat Boon
​The Christmas Dream Machine Lit Up Hanley With Fireworks and Christmas spirit! As thousands of families fought the cold and gathered at Albion Square, Hanley last night, Santa and his Christmas Dream Machine spat out fireworks and presents to celebrate the beginning of Christmas.
Ava and her huge teddy flew around on a big bed as part of the 2016 Christmas Lights Switch On. The show featured a young girl and her teddy bear who couldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve, and end up dreaming about Santa’s machine that makes the presents and the last present he had left to give.
While Ava dreamed of a magical machine that makes presents and fireworks, we also got to see her dancing on her bed with her bear and travelling through the crowd to meet Santa. Alongside the amazing fireworks display on different sides of the square, we also got to listen to some fantastic drummers dressed as elves.
People were dancing along to the music and kids were piled high on their parent’s shoulders to get a better look at Santa and Ava as they turned on the Hanley Christmas Lights.
The show’s script was adapted to Stoke-on-Trent and mentioned local food like oatcakes and local pubs which gave a homely feel to the show. They included places and people that Ava would know as a young girl, like the mayor of Stoke-on-Trent in the City Hall.
Interestingly, the name Ava was chosen for the main character as it is one of the most popular girls' names in Stoke-on-Trent recently. It’s lovely to think of all the little girls in the audience pointing up at Ava and telling their parents that she had their name.
After a fantastic night of fireworks and lights, with Ava settled and all the presents delivered, everyone went home for a well-deserved hot chocolate for the kids, and a tea for the adults.

The show, created by Emergency Exit Arts, was commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and The City Centre Partnership, working with Realis Estates and Appetite. Events like this really do boost our chances of reaching City of Culture Bid 2021, which would be a massive achievement for Stoke-on-Trent.

Emma Leigh-Hayes
Appetite Cultural Reporter

The Appetite Cultural Reporter Team is a roving group of local writers, photographers and bloggers who are passionate about the arts in Stoke-on-Trent.  Cultural Reporters discover and promote exciting stuff happening locally and regionally through reviews, blogs, vlogs, photography, back stage interviews and more. From theatre to circus to spoken word, they get to the heart of the action and bring it to you. Got an event coming up you’d like one of the team to review? Contact us at


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