Hospital high jinks as Theatre at the Mill celebrates Christmas in Casualty

By December 5, 2017Comedy, Creative Industries, Theatre

Dynamic writing and acting duo Caroline ‘Maggie Muff’ Curran and Julie Maxwell return to Theatre at the Mill for another riotous Christmas comedy – this time in A&E.

It’s a case of ‘Carry on Nurse’ as the pair unleash ‘The Nightshift before Christmas’ a madcap medical caper full of colourful characters and seasonal twists and turns.

There are thrills, spills and lots of pills galore in the A&E department of the fictitious Royal Abbey Hospital, where nurses Cindy and Ella are working hard dealing with some very unusual yuletide cases, while hoping to get home at midnight to spend Christmas with their families.

Cindy (Curran) is looking forward to spending the big day with her new baby and Ella (Maxwell) with her new hubby.

This is art imitating life as Julie got hitched in September 23, while her bridesmaid and best buddy Caroline had her first baby, Molly on September 29.

Caroline said: “The story of the two nurses reflects our own lives.  Julie got married in Lusty Beg Island in September and I was the heavily pregnant bridesmaid who gave birth a week later! It’s a life-changing year for both of us and we wanted to include this in writing our new Christmas show.”

This is the third Christmas extravaganza penned by the pair for Theatre at the Mill after the record-breaking My Big Fat Belfast Christmas (2015) and Last Orders at the Rough Diamond (2016).

As usual it’s a hilarious blend of rude humour and outrageous scenes peppered with plenty of heart and celebration of the true meaning of Christmas. Cindy and Ella, a pair of Christmas angels, work the night shift with the lack of selfishness and coal black humour associated with National Health Service staff.

Julie said: “We wanted to set it in A&E as Christmas is one of their busiest times of year. There are a lot of human stories in the wards and it suits our writing which has a lot of feeling as well as comedy.  We have a really loyal audience, with people coming to the shows every year. It has become like a family.”

The show, which is packed with festive tunes and lots of topical humour, opens with the girls’ own unique take on the much-loved of ‘Twas the Night Before  Christmas’ and an entrance from Saint Nick himself who has come to A&E with a toy soldier inserted in a very painful place.

Helping him with his predicament are Cindy and Ella, the fun-loving but dedicated nurses kept in check by the stern Ward Sister Payne.

Over the next couple of hours of fast-paced farce we are introduced to the handsome junior doctor Dickie (to the sound of Nelly’s ‘It’s getting hot in here so take off all your clothes) and an assortment of rowing couples, female hippies, culchies, chancers and Belfast not-so-hard men requiring the emergency treatment.

Into the midst of this mayhem come Ricky and his heavily pregnant wife Gloria who’s about to go into labour….

The Nightshift before Christmas has everything – laughs, tears, love, a huge dose of Christmas spirit – promising great night out to enjoy with friends during the festive season.

The show runs from December 5 to 31. To book contact the Box Office on 028 9034 0202 or go to