Scottish actress Laura Main to switch on Edinburgh’s Christmas lights

6th Nov 2017

Star of BBC’s Call the Midwife and Shrek the Musical Laura Main is announced to switch on Edinburgh’s Christmas lights during the city’s Light Night celebrations on 19 November

With an array of local talent on display and hosted by Forth One DJ Arlene Stuart, Light Night kicks off Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations which run across the city until 6 January 2018
Light Night is a free, unticketed event taking place on George Street between 3pm and 5pm on Sunday, 19 November

Sunday 19 November is Light Night in Scotland’s capital! Hosted by Forth One DJ Arlene Stuart, who’ll be joined on stage by Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, and showcasing a variety of amateur choirs and dance groups on two stages in front of an expected audience of 20,000, Light Night is a celebration of community spirit and the traditional start to Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations – one of the biggest and most popular Christmas celebrations in UK.

This year’s Light Night will see Aberdeen-born actress Laura Main, star of BBC’s Call the Midwife, switching on the lights across the city! Laura will also be performing on the Light Night stage alongside Steffan Harri – Shrek himself - to celebrate the opening of the tour of her show Shrek the Musical at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 12 December.

Laura Main said: What an honour it is to be turning on Edinburgh’s iconic Christmas Lights. I am thrilled to be spending the festive season back in Scotland along with another resident, Shrek! We’ll be giving you a sneak peak of our show Shrek the Musical, ahead of its run at the Edinburgh Playhouse in December, where I’ll be donning the green dress as Princess Fiona. Light Night is a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season and I can’t wait to see you all there.”

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, Directors, Edinburgh’s Christmas, said: “Light Night heralds the start of Christmas in Edinburgh, it’s a wonderful family event that always gets everyone, including us, into the Christmas spirit with local music and dance groups, fireworks and, of course, the city centre Christmas lights being switched on.  We’re delighted Laura will be pushing the button this year, as well as entertaining the crowds with songs from Shrek the Musical.”

The Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “On stage and on screen, and even on the Strictly dance floor, Laura Main is one of Scotland’s most admired actresses. I am delighted she will return to Edinburgh where she has performed during the Fringe to help us start our winter celebrations. Light Night is the perfect way to bring everyone in the city together to get into the community spirit of Christmas and this year’s switch on will show charity support for the incredible NSPCC. Please give generously if you can.”

Light Night will also see performances from Little Voices Big Stars, Edinburgh Rock Choir, Edinburgh Ballet and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus.

The Christmas Tree on the Mound, a gift to the City of Edinburgh Council from Hordaland County Council in Norway, will be lit as part of the Light Night switch-on.

Light Night is partnering with the NSPCC this year, so please look out for NSPCC collectors on the streets at Light Night and donate kindly! National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is a leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Paul Cockram, Head of Fundraising, NSPCC Scotland said: “We are delighted to be partnered with Edinburgh’s world famous Christmas celebrations as we try to make sure more children and young people have a safe and happy Christmas this year”.


Light Night is an excellent trip for all the family to enjoy! To make it a day out, visit Edinburgh’s Christmas brand new offering, Ice Adventure, also located on George Street: an arctic installation and immersive walk-through experience filled with spectacular ice and snow sculptures, including those of Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots and Dolly the Sheep!

Stroll down to St Andrew Square and get your skates on to glide all the way round the Melville Monument on a circular ice rink!


To browse Edinburgh’s Christmas programme in full, head to 

Light Night is free and unticketed, just head along to George Street to enjoy the performances, atmosphere, lights and fireworks.



Notes to editors:


George Street. Free to access.

Sunday 19 November, 3pm – 5pm

Light Night is an event free for all to enjoy, which encapsulates the true spirit of the festive season: family and the community.

Choirs and dance groups from across Edinburgh including Little Voices Big Stars, Edinburgh Ballet and Edinburgh Rock Choir will perform across two stages on George Street in front of an expected audience of around 20,000 people. The event will be once again hosted by the formidable Forth One DJ Arlene Stuart. Laura Main, Aberdeen-born actress and star of Call the Midwife, will switch on the Christmas light across the city.

The Christmas Tree on the Mound, a gift to the City of Edinburgh Council from Hordaland County Council in Norway, will be lit as part of the Light Night switch-on.


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Facebook:  facebook/edinburghschristmas

Twitter:  @EdXmas


Tickets for all ticketed events are available from:           / 0844 545 8252


For further information on Edinburgh's Christmas, please contact:

Susie Gray / The Corner Shop PR / / 07834 073 795

Magda Paduch / The Corner Shop PR / / 0758 316 4070


Laura  Main is  best  known  for  her  role  as  Shelagh  Turner  in the  award-winning Call  the  Midwife (BBC/Neal  Street  Productions). Appearing initially as Sister Bernadette, she  left  behind her life as a nun to marry Dr Turner. Laura has appeared in all six series to date and will return for this year’s Christmas special and series 7 in 2018. She has also had regular roles as Rebecca Howlett in The Mill (Channel 4) and DC Alison Bain in Murder City (ITV). Stage credits include Company (Southwark Playhouse), Me and Juliet (Finborough Theatre) and State Fair (Trafalgar Studios / Finborough Theatre). Laura will star as Princess Fiona in the UK and Ireland tour of Shrek the Musical, opening in Edinburgh and touring the country throughout 2018.

Little Voices Big Stars was established in 2013. It is modern pop singing classes for kids and adults aged 4 years and upwards. Its classes are a place where you can grow in confidence, perform and have fun whilst singing with friends. It has travelled all over Scotland performing and earlier this year won the title of Best Singing/Musical Theatre Group in the Stars of Scotland final.

Edinburgh Rock Choir offers an alternative experience to the traditional classical or community choir, pioneering a new approach to vocal training and entertainment. It offers fun, weekly rehearsals using well-known hit songs with original vocal arrangements and performance elements.

Rock Choir has achieved a fantastic reputation in the UK for its sophisticated teaching techniques, unique style and the feel-good experience it give its members. It supports hundreds of local communities and raises money for charities through performances and events.

Since opening in 2008, under the direction of Ms K. Sara J. Wood, Edinburgh Ballet has developed into a dance school well recognised for high standards and achievements. With continuously outstanding results in Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Examinations, Class Awards and dance performances, we have established a reputation for quality ballet training.

Edinburgh Ballet provides studio ballet classes for children as young as 2 years old, up to adults. Our non-syllabus Modern/Jazz dance classes also help to complement student’s Classical Ballet training, and allow them to broaden their dance knowledge and experience.

RSNO Junior Chorus

The RSNO Junior Chorus is one of the leading children and youth choirs in the UK, with over 400 members aged seven to eighteen.

It was formed in 1978 by Jean Kidd and since 1994 has been directed by Christopher Bell.  It has built up a considerable reputation singing under some of the world's most distinguished conductors and appearing on radio and television.

RSNO Junior Chorus members sing regularly with Scotland's national orchestra in major concert halls and festivals throughout the country. The Junior Chorus has also sung at BBC concerts and regularly appears at the Edinburgh International Festival.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

The NSPCC is the leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK and Channel Islands. Using voluntary donations, which make up around 90 per cent of our funding, we help children who’ve been abused to rebuild their lives, we protect children at risk, and we find the best ways of preventing child abuse from ever happening. So when a child needs a helping hand, we’ll be there. When parents are finding it tough, we’ll help. When laws need to change, or governments need to do more, we won’t give up until things improve.

Our Childline service provides a safe, confidential place for children with no one else to turn to, whatever their worry, whenever they need help. Children can contact Childline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting

Our free NSPCC Helpline provides adults with a place they can get advice and support, share their concerns about a child or get general information about child protection. Adults can contact the Helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0808 800 5000, or visiting

Edinburgh’s Christmas

Edinburgh’s Christmas is one of the most popular Christmas celebrations in the UK. 2017 will see the biggest, brightest and best programme of events and entertainment to date. This year the refreshed celebration expands across the city from East to West, North to South and into community hubs outside the city centre. A new feature, the Ice Adventure – a journey through frozen Scotland comes to the west end of George Street offering residents and visitors a stunning new attraction made of snow and ice. Another new offering this year is Edinburgh’s Giant Advent Calendar, this free attraction, created by Double Take Projections, will be projected nightly onto General Register House, with 24 glimpses of Edinburgh winters from years gone-by, one revealed each day. In a partnership with Edinburgh Trams, Edinburgh’s Christmas has invited schoolchildren from across the city to design a special Christmas and Hogmanay tram to brighten up the city’s streets this winter.


Underbelly is a UK based live entertainment company whose beginnings were rooted in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2000. Its events and festivals division now operates one of the largest operations at the Fringe, selling over 291,000 tickets for over 150 shows in 16 venues over 25 days in 2017.

2017 marks their fifth year producing Edinburgh’s Christmas for the City of Edinburgh Council, and their first year producing Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (also for the City of Edinburgh Council), one of the UK’s (if not the world’s) leading New Year Festivals lasting 3 days in Scotland’s stunning capital city drawing an estimated 150,000 people from Scotland and around the world.

Elsewhere, Underbelly also produces Underbelly Festival on the Southbank in London one of the biggest multi-arts offerings in London - 2018 will be its 10th year, Christmas in Leicester Square, Udderbelly Festival in Hong Kong, West End Live in Trafalgar Square for Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre and Pride in London, the second largest annual event in London after the Marathon.

Through its Underbelly Productions arm it produces and promotes live shows in London's West End, throughout the UK and on tour internationally and recently opened its revival of Clarke Peters’ Five Guys Named Moe in a specially constructed temporary theatre in Marble Arch, London, they’re also bringing the celebrated improv group Austentatious to London’s West End for the first time.

In 2016, Underbelly sold over 1.3 million tickets to its various events.

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