Some of County Durham’s school and nursery children last week enjoyed a visit from some very special stars.

Kids from St Michael’s RC Primary School in Esh and Busy Bears Children’s Day Nursery in Bearpark were visited by Mrs Claus and her helper Widget.

Widget and Mrs Claus are the stars of this year’s under-fives’ show at Durham’s Gala Theatre, Mrs Claus’ Kitchen.

The duo led storytelling sessions with the children before taking part in some Christmas arts and crafts.

Mrs Claus’ Kitchen starts its run at the Gala today. The show follows Mrs Claus – played by north-east actress Samantha Phillis Morris – and her kitchen helper Widget – played by Robert Nicholson – as they prepare for Christmas.

Disaster then strikes when Santa’s sleigh breaks down – there is a solution, but it comes from an unexpected place.

Mrs Claus 2
The star of Mrs Claus’ Kitchen, Samantha Phillis Morris, tells County Durham kids a story

Mrs Claus’ Kitchen – which includes original music and puppetry – is directed by Kate Sorahan Turner. Kate normally works as the Gala’s theatre education officer and is in charge of the Gala Theatre Stage School.

Kate said, “It was great to visit local children to spread a bit of Christmas cheer and they certainly seemed to enjoy their time with Mrs Claus and Widget.”

“Festive shows at the Gala for young families have always been popular and this year is proving no exception, with tickets selling extremely quickly.”

Mrs Claus’ Kitchen will be on at Durham’s Gala Theatre from Monday 4th to Saturday 30th December.

Tickets cost between £6.50 and £7.50. Family tickets can also be purchased and are priced between £24 and £28. Most remaining tickets are now available for the shows between Thursday 28th and Saturday 30th December.

For more information and to book tickets, please go to or phone 03000 266 600.

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