Christmas Theatre: What’s Cool This Yule?
“Christmas time, mistletoe and wine!” A season in which theatre is at its prime! It’s that time of year again and what better way to celebrate the festive season than a traditional trip to Theatreland? With the holiday season right around the corner, the West End has made sure that there’s enough to fill your stockings this year. Whether you want a family outing to a show entertaining for all, or something specifically to delight your children, we have selected some snow-filled shows to keep you in a jolly jingle all the way through to 2017!
For Panto Lovers
Britain is renowned for its love of a good pantomime! Some say Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it, whilst others avoid it when they can! This year sees panto return to the West End for the first time in over 29 years and it would be simply silly to miss out! Oh no it wouldn’t… Oh yes it would!
Panto returns to the London Palladium for the first time in decades, with a spectacular star-studded version of Cinderella! Funny Girl’s very own Natasha J Barnes stars as Cinders, the poor girl who spends her time cleaning up after her Wicked Stepmother and Stepsisters, before an opportunity to meet the man of her dreams arises! Amanda Holden sparkles as the Fairy Godmother, alongside a comic cast that includes Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Count Arthur Strong, with Lee Mead as Prince Charming. With music, laughter and plenty of classic panto mishaps, Cinderella is the show to see this Christmas! Who knows when panto will return again?
Where: London Palladium
When: December 9th 2016 – January 15th 2017
Why: This is the first time pantomime has come to the West End in decades! It’s guaranteed to be spectacular!
Ok, so Peter Pan Goes Wrong is technically not a pantomime, but it is a farce that will have you rolling around in your seat! From Mischief Theatre, the popular comics who brought the Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong to the stage, Peter Pan Goes Wrong once again follows the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as they attempt to put on J. M. Barrie’s classic tale. As cast disputes interrupt dialogue, set mishaps are causing chaos and costume changes are proving staging the perfect Peter Pan to be more difficult than ever! Join this catastrophic company who will make sure to make your Christmas extra special!
Where: Apollo Theatre
When: October 20th 2016 – January 29th 2017
Why: One of the funniest shows to be seen in the West End, this is guaranteed to appeal to absolutely everyone!
For Fairy-tale Fiends
Those who love a good fairy-tale may not exactly like British panto! Never fear, the West End caters for all tastes and types. Wicked is one of London’s best-loved, longest-running musicals that continues to dazzle audiences. Although not explicitly festive, the spectacular magic of the evening will definitely leave you with a good dose of Christmas cheer!
Forget Christmas crackers, a trip to this magical musical is certain to make your festive trip go out with a bang! Based on The Wizard of Oz, Wicked is the backstory of the Wicked Witch and Good Witch. Following Elphaba and Galinda, who are paired together at school despite being completely different, the musical discovers how friendship is the most important part of growing up. Full of laughs, magic and memorable songs that include “Defying Gravity”, “What is this Feeling?” and “No Good Deed”, Wicked is the ultimate treat for any theatre fan!
Where: Apollo Victoria Theatre
When: Now – November 4th 2017.
Why: Christmas trees are green and so is Elphaba, go figure.
For those who are Crackers about Christmas
Sometimes a good West End show is not enough at Christmas time, and unless there is plenty of snow, presents and dancing candy-canes, you may not want to see it! For the theatregoers who love to indulge in the seasonal spirit, there is a London show that will have you dreaming of the perfect white Christmas!
This year there are plenty of shows to tickle your festive fancy, but none as explicitly Christmassy as English National Ballet’s beloved interpretation of The Nutcracker. Nutcracker takes Tchaikovsky’s well-known score and brings to live the story of Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. Be prepared to be blown away by the sheer amount of festive feelings in this glorious production which returns to London year after year. Follow Clara as she journeys into a land full of sweets with her dear friend and plunge into the depths of all things Christmas.
Where: London Coliseum
When: December 14th 2016 – January 7th 2017
Why: Because Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a dose of dancing mice and a glittering twirl from the Sugar Plum Fairy.
For Santa’s Little Helpers
Christmas is the ultimate time for little ones to revel in the festive spirit! At the most magical time of the year, why not treat you and your family to a dazzling show that is sure to delight even the tiniest theatregoer!
Once again, London’s favourite festive show returns to the West End to enthral audiences with its seasonal spirit. Based on the beloved book and animation, The Snowman follows a small boy who makes a snowman on a cold winter day. That night, he peeps outside his window into the garden and lo and behold, the snowman has miraculously come to life! Taking the boy on a Christmassy adventure that he will never forget, the stage production introduces a whole new stream of characters including Jack Frost, accompanied by a soaring score. Experience the magical “Walking in the Air” live on stage!
Where: Peacock Theatre
When: November 23rd 2016 – January 1st 2017
Why: Take your tiny ones for a chance to see Santa live on stage!
Beloved children’s classic The Railway Children plays its last few performances over the Christmas period! Experience the magic of the Olivier Award winning adaptation live on stage at the purpose-built King’s Cross Theatre! Following the story of Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis who move away from home during the war, this heart-warming tale of love and family is sure to delight all ages! A live steam train enters the auditorium!
Where: King’s Cross Theatre
When: Now – January 8th 2017
Why: A real steam train is sure to delight all theatregoers!