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Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat

Thanks to the Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treats, thousands of families who had not previously been to a performance at the Royal Opera House have been able to enjoy opera and ballet at the famous Covent Garden theatre, with many returning again and again.

Last year we invited families to see The Royal Ballet perform The Nutcracker from as little as £5. In addition to the matinee performance, there was a series of fun activities for all ages throughout the building.

This page will be updated with details of the 2017 Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat – check back for details as they are announced.

Each year, we fill the auditorium with an invited audience who have not experienced ballet at the Royal Opera House before. This year, we are partnering with a network of arts and health charities, and medical practitioners using ‘social prescription’ to treat a range of long-term health conditions.

There is a growing understanding that the arts and culture can form a significant part of the treatment of a wide range of long-term health conditions. According to a recent Kings Fund report up to 20% of GPs’ time is spent on problems with social causes. For mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, there is an emerging understanding that a mixed model of talking therapies, medication, and social and cultural interventions is necessary to tackle long-term conditions which can have a knock-on effect on physical conditions. Around one in four people (23%) diagnosed with cancer in the UK lack support from family or friends during their treatment and recovery – that represents more than 70,000 people each year – of whom one in six cite their illness and treatment as the reason they lose touch with support networks.

As a contribution to this growing field of work, we are delighted that the Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat is open to patients and staff of pioneering arts and health organizations, seeking to increase health and wellbeing through contact with the arts. We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Helen Hamlyn Trust who fund this very special performance in memory of Paul Hamlyn.

The Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat is generously supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust, in memory of the late Paul Hamlyn.

Find out more information about The Helen Hamlyn Trust.