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best christmas theatre shows

BEST CHRISTMAS THEATRE SHOWS TO SEE IN 2021

BEST CHRISTMAS THEATRE SHOWS TO SEE IN 2021

From panto favourites to festivities with a twist, here are the best Christmas theatre shows you can’t miss this year!

After the long period of literal and metaphorical darkness, the theatre is finally back! And what better time to flock to the best local venues than Christmas? Read on for our ultimate list of the very best Christmas theatre shows – from big to small, from pantos to shadow puppetry, from big names to local legends.

1 

SLEEPING BEAUTY & THE BEAST

A brand new panto mash-up, full of songs, live music and interaction for all ages, themed around panto villains who struggle to graduate from the Goodie-versity as someone put Headmaster Beast to sleep… With some socially distanced, sensory adaptive, and BSL interpreted performances, this Christmas show is particularly accessible for those with additional support needs.

Battersea Arts Centre, 26 Nov – 30 Dec
best Christmas theatre shows
Credit: Simon Phipps Photography

2 

Dick Whittington

Join Dick Whittington (and his cat, of course) as he sets out on a journey to become the Lord Mayor of London. This action-packed pantomime stars the well-loved EastEnder Shane Richie, Coronation Street’s Peter Piper and Everybody Talking About Jamie’s Hiba Elchikhe. 

New Wimbledon Theatre, 4 Dec – 2 Jan

3 

Beauty and the Beast

Do you fancy something different to a panto this year? Head to Kingston to see the Rose’s fabulous version of Beauty and the Beast, a magical tale about the power of youth seeing beyond prejudice. Written by Ciaran McConville, with music and lyrics by Eamonn O’Dwyer and directed by Lucy Morrell. Selected performances are accessible for patrons with additional support needs.

Rose Theatre, 3 Dec – 3 Jan
best Christmas theatre shows

4 

Cinderella

Starring King of Ballroom Anton Du Beke as Buttons, this is a must-see. Expect plenty of boos and hisses, gorgeous costumes, lots of laughs and all traditional panto ingredients as Cinderella goes from rags to riches.

Richmond Theatre, 3 Dec – 2 Jan

5 

Beauty and the Beast

After winning the Best Pantomime at the Great British Pantomime Awards 2020, Epsom Playhouse is back with another fantastic production with singing, dancing and vivacious comedy. 

Epsom Playhouse, 11 Dec – 3 Jan
best christmas theatre shows

6 

Aladdin

Take a magical carpet ride with Aladdin, Genie Jasmine and their friends! There will be live music, laughs and plenty of unexpected twists on the beloved fairytale characters. Selected performances are audio-described, open-captioned and BSL interpreted.

Lyric Hammersmith, 19 Nov – 02 Jan

7 

Cinderella: the AWESOME truth

A magical topsy-turvy adventure telling the story of Cindy and Ella who, with help from a nutty squirrel, try to escape a terrible fate before midnight strikes. There are performances running at a significantly reduced audience capacity for those who are vulnerable.

Polka Theatre, 12 Nov – 30 Jan

8 

SNOW WHITE: A 503 PANTO

Rediscover the beloved tale of Snow White and Seven Dwarves with this fabulously funny rendition written by Old Vic Theatre Makers’ programme alumnus, Lucy Wilson. Captioned and relaxed performances are available.

THEATRE503, 7 – 30 Dec

9 

THE NUTCRACKER

It’s not Christmas – and definitely not in London – without The Nutcracker! Created especially for the Royal Albert Hall, this classic ballet is brought to life by Birmingham Royal Ballet. Featuring gorgeous period costumes, amazing lighting and, of course, world-class dancing, it is perfect for aficionados as well as complete newbies – even the youngest ones.

ROYAL ALBERT HALL, 28 – 31 Dec

10 

Treasure Island

All aboard for the fab tale of John Silver, his fearsome crew, mischief, custard pies, songs and laughter! Written by Ben Crocker, who specializes in traditional pantomime scripts with a modern feel, this show is one not to miss. And don’t forget to dress the kids up as pirates!

Lantern Arts Centre, 8 Dec – 12 Dec

11 

Rocky Horror Show

Starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba as Brad, this production of the cult musical looks spectacular already. The story of innocent couple Brad and Janet who find themselves caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad transvestite scientist, Dr Frank-N-Furter has been entertaining audiences for almost 50 years. Expect fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity!

Age restriction: 14+. Be warned, this show has rude parts!

G Live Guildford, 21 Dec – 1 Jan
best Christmas theatre shows

12 

Beauty and the Beast

All the ingredients of traditional pantomime blend to perfection in this classic tale of love and prejudice sprinkled with some great comedy, singing, dancing, and, naturally, audience participation galore. Patrons with sensory processing issues can opt for a relaxed performance.

Fairfield Halls, 7 Dec – 2 Jan 

13 

Cinderella

Fancy something short and sweet? Cinderella at the lovely Colour House Theatre is an hour filled with true Christmas joy, songs, dance and laughter. Will Cinderella get the fairy tale ending she deserves? All children from age 3 to 103 are welcome! 

Colour House Theatre, 20 Nov – 09 Jan

14 

Pinocchio

A magical tale of a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy comes to life in this enchanting, imaginative show by the Orange Theatre. Aimed at under 7s – including babies – children can be seated on stage for extra immersion in the fantasy world.

Orange Tree Theatre, 14 Dec – 31 Dec
best christmas shows

15 

Jack & the Beanstalk

Come and join this *giant* of a pantomime! Laugh at Simple Simon, boo the awful Fleshcreep and root for Jack as he tries to save his sweetheart from the evil Giant‘s castle. Starring one and only Stevi Ritchie as Jack.  

Dorking Halls, 18 Dec – 28 Dec

16 

DEAR SANTA

From Rod Campbell, author of the much-loved book Dear Zoo, comes this charming tale of the search for perfection and a merry chain of choosing and giving. Plenty of music, laughter and audience participation – and a real Santa, of course!

 Esher Theatre, 4 – 11 Dec