Masterpiece inspires the National Gallery to stage its first theater performance


A winter scene with skaters near a castle by Hendrick Avercamp will come to life for a festive family show starting in November.

The painting, which shows families playing on frozen ice, will set the story of two children traveling through a winter landscape and the magical creatures and people they encounter.

The exhibition is the latest in the gallery’s attempts to present its collection, which includes works by artists such as Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet, to as wide an audience as possible.

She recently set up an augmented reality app that allows children to follow an adventure trail through the collection where they help a fictional painting keeper find a magical object that brings the works to life.

The gallery has also used digital technology to create a virtual 16th century Italian chapel so visitors can experience the setting where one of his works was first shown.

A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle by Hendrick Avercamp

/ national gallery

It’s part of a growing trend for museums and galleries to reach new audiences as they recover from the effects of lockdown which have severely shaken visitor numbers.

Clare Arouche, Head of Hospitality and Events at the gallery, said: “We are delighted to bring the National Gallery‘s first-ever theatrical performance to life this festive season with Picture Perfect Christmas, a festive spectacle for the whole family. family.

“A winter scene with skaters near an Avercamp castle is a magical work of art, which perfectly captures a traditional winter scene and we are delighted to work with Boo Productions to adapt this work of art to the stage, in what we hope will be a wonderful day of celebration for everyone.”

Susi Freitag, Managing Director of

Boo Productions, which specializes in immersive theater, said: “The task

to turn a work of art into a play has been wonderful, and we hope that the visitors to the National Gallery’s Picture Perfect Christmas show will enjoy it as much as we do.

The show runs from November 26 to December 23. Tickets are on sale at


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