Flashmob-style stealth Christmas carol crawl unleashed Fun Army onto Hackney’s streets

Shoreditch based performance collective behind new movement

IT was not yet the night before Christmas but it was still quiet around a frosty Hackney when 200 stealth singers crept around its streets.

Last night a secret carol crawl codenamed Operation Christmas amazed residents when its members suddenly burst into song when they opened their doors.

The flashmob-style crawl was organised through social networking site, Facebook by Bearded Kitten’s Fun Army, a new group dedicated to “shock surprise and amuse the people of London”.

Resident Lucy Hall, 31, of Lavender Grove, London Fields. said: “They knocked on the door and suddenly I had a huge crowd of people singing at me. They were singing Silent Night it was very nice, and quite in tune. It was quite a nice thing to see, very Christmassy.

“They stopped and said Happy Christmas with lots of smiles and moved on.

“Everyone looked quite shocked in my street. I think it was a good reaction overall.”

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One of those who took part, graphic designer, Toni Giddin, 32, from Stoke Newington, said he had heard about Operation Christmas through a friend and was surprised to find himself “sneaking around in the dark”.

“Everyone who opened their door loved it,” he said. “I had no idea so many people were going to turn up and how much fun it would be.”

The group was set up by Bearded Kitten, a performance company based in Shoreditch.

Organiser Barney Sutton, of Durant Street Bethnal Green, said: “Fun Army is about people who want to do something unusual and exciting, break the mould and make people smile. It should be as enjoyable to take part in a Fun Army activity as it is to witness one.”

To join the Facebook group, currently at 544 members, visit www.facebook.com/beardedkitten.