There’s a clumsy elf, his girlfriend, a potential disaster, a big Christmas quest, lords a-leaping, maids a-milking, a partridge in a pear tree, acrobatics galore, all your favourite Christmas hits – all in one show.

“There’s so much detail and so many parts to the story, it’s pretty full-on,“ laughs Elle While, the director of The Twelve Days of Christmas, the seasonal family show from The People’s Theatre Company at The Ark Theatre in Borehamwood.

The show tells the story of a clumsy elf named Christopher who, with just 12 days left until Christmas, makes a terrible mistake that causes havoc at the North Pole and is banished forever.

Alone and cold, he enlists the help of a group of friendly strangers – including the various characters you find in the popular Christmas song of the same name – to get back home before Santa sets off on his sleigh and put things right.

“It’s a really sweet story,“ says Elle, who has recently directed Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, The Winter’s Tale and The Taming of the Shrew with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and The Sunshine Boys and The Importance of Being Earnest in the West End.

“All the characters he encounters have problems of their own and he’s such a lovely, kind person that he ends up helping them too, and they each get him a step closer to completing his own mission.“

All the parts in the show, which is aimed at children from the age of three upwards, are played by just three actors, who have been busy perfecting their many costume changes, learning acrobatics and also how to operate puppets.

“It’s pretty amazing,“ says Elle, “it’s going to be really good fun.“

  • The Twelve Days of Christmas is at The Ark Theatre, off Elstree Way, Borehamwood from Wednesday, December 17 to Sunday, December 21, at various times. Details: 020 8238 7288,