New Festive Short Film and Cast Announced


15 Dec 2023

News Story

Headshots of Catriona Faint, Simon Weir and Anne Lacey

We are excited to announce we are releasing a new Christmas short film to celebrate the festive season.

Christmas at Cunninghams, written and directed by Jack Willison will premiere on YouTube on 21 December, featuring Simon Weir, Catriona Faint and Anne Lacey.

Murphy and Basil, a pair of not-so sleekit tricksters have set their sights on a festive break-in round at old deary Mrs Cunningham's gaff. But things quickly go south as they realise they may have picked the wrong woman. Who will have the last laugh in this rocket of a Christmas heist?

Christmas at Cunninghams is a wee Christmas cracker of a short film, stuffed full of festive mischief, mishaps and mince pies.

Simon Weir is making his National Theatre of Scotland debut as Murphy in Christmas at Cunninghams. His television work includes Taggart, River City and Patrick Melrose, and appeared in Trainspotting 2. Other stage credits include Irvine Welsh’s PORNO during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022 and a UK Tour of Kidnapped with Selladoor Theatre. He received The Scotsman Fringe First Award for Glasgow Hard Tickets in 1995.

Catriona Faint is playing Basil and was most recently seen on Scottish stages in our production of Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning and before that in the National Theatre of Scotland and Pitlochry Festival co-production Enough of Him in 2022. Other theatre credits include The Tempest (Tron Theatre), Black or White Coffee (Union Theatre) and Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Sam Wanamaker Festival, Shakespeare’s Globe).

Completing the cast is Anne Lacey as Mrs Cunningham, who most recently appeared in Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning. Anne also appeared in 2022’s Medea, at the Edinburgh International Festival and Dear Scotland. Anne has worked extensively in theatre, including Earthquakes In London (National Theatre) and TV series Shetland (ITV).

Director and writer Jack Willison is a film maker and videographer at National Theatre of Scotland. In 2023 his short films have premiered on BBC Scotland and also screened at film festivals internationally, including picking up an Audience Award at Filmapolooza, Los Angeles. He also won the Glasgow 48 Hour Film Project in 2022.

This film is part of the National Theatre of Scotland on Screen expanding programme which includes artistic work for digital platforms and broadcast. Recent highlights include National Theatre of Scotland and Hopscotch Film’s special filmed version of Adam commissioned for BBC Scotland and BBC which won the Audience Award for Best Film at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and Best Scripted TV in the Scottish BAFTA’s 2021, and Hope Dickson Leach’s The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2023, before airing on Sky Arts.

Christmas at Cunninghams will premiere on National Theatre of Scotland's YouTube channel on 21 December and will then be available for viewing on National Theatre of Scotland’s platforms.