21+ spectacular things to discover this December

21+ spectacular things to discover this December in SW London and Surrey

The festive season is officially underway, so why not celebrate by heading to some fab events in your local area?

Image credit: Pamela Raith

Theatre in December

1 Crown Ballet Present: Swan Lake

Dorking Halls, 1 December

Crown Ballet presents Swan Lake, one of Tchaikovsky’s best works, featuring some of ballet’s most memorable music and breath-taking dance. Full of mystery and romance, this ballet has captured the imagination of generations.

2 Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World

New Wimbledon Theatre, runs ’til 2 December

When inquisitive heroine Jade breaks away from her school trip to the local museum to peek at the Gallery of Greatness, she meets iconic women from the past, whose actions and lives changed the world as we know it, including explorers, scientists, artists, and secret agents. This enthralling, heart-warming musical is full of incredible characters, inspirational moments and a soundtrack that packs a popstar punch.

Credit: Pamela Raith

3 Talk of the Town

OSO Arts Centre, Barnes, 2 December

OnBook Theatre returns with their musical revue. In this Christmas edition, this talented troupe of West End performers will sing popular Broadway and West End numbers and a collection of classic Christmas songs, guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.

4 Spamalot

Hampton Hill Theatre, 3-9 December

Inspired by the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the musical Spamalot retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and features tonnes of medieval hijinks, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and singing.

4 Jack and the Beans Talk

Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, 3 December & 9-10 December

A fresh and funny retelling of the classic fairytale from international award-winning puppetry company Garlic Theatre. Expect an enormous beanstalk, bags of gold and a smelly old giant.

5 A Woman Walks Into a Bank

Theatre 503, Battersea, runs ’til 9 December

In the afterglow of an incident free 2018 World Cup, an old woman walks into a bank in Moscow and is conned into taking out a high interest loan – which she immediately forgets about. A catastrophic series of events is set in motion… with only her cat Sally to bear witness.

6 ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ Christmas Special

Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, 9 December

In celebration of comedian and actor Tony Hancock, a showing featuring two pieces of his indomitable work: ‘The East Cheam Repertory Company’ and ‘Ericson the Viking.’

7 A Christmas Carol

Langdon Down Centre, Teddington, 16 December

This special charity production of the Christmas classic is performed by Sam Devereaux. Sam will use his experience as a theatre actor and audiobook narrator to bring the novella to life all by himself, just as Dickens himself once did. The aim of this performance is to make the show more accessible to audience members who might find a traditional theatre show uncomfortable or disorienting.

Music in December

1 World Heart Beat Music Academy: 51st State Band Concert

Wandsworth, 1 December

With boundless energy and talent, the 51st State Band represents the spirit of World Heart Beat Music Academy by bringing gifted musicians of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to learn and play together. The concert will consist of an inspiring music programme of jazz, rock, soul and film scores

2 The Counterfeit Stones

Dorking Halls, 2 December

The Counterfeit Stones are the world’s most successful tribute act to the Rolling Stones. Sir Mick Jagger has even referred to them as “the most famous Stones band in England” and having supported stars as diverse as Barry Manilow, Oasis and Tom Jones, it shows the wide appeal of this exciting band.

3 Christmas Carols by Candlelight

Wimbledon Village Stables, 2 December

The magical Christmas carol concert is an essential part of the Christmas festivities with carols sung in the stable yard accompanied by a choir. For the children, there is even a visit from Santa. Hot drinks, mulled wine and mince pies are served. The performances  are at 5pm with a second one at 6.15.

4 Putney Choral Society Concert

St. Paul’s Church, Augustus Road, Southfields, 2 December

Concert performance of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas plus a selection of Baroque delights by Handel.

5 A Christmas Cracker Concert with Putney and Wimbledon Brass Band

Green Arts Centre, 5 December

Wimbledon Community Chorus is holding its popular ‘Christmas Cracker’ seasonal celebration concert on Tuesday 5 December, 8pm – 9.30pm. The concert is a fundraising event, with all profits going to the Mayor of Merton’s two nominated charities – Merton Music Foundation and The National Brain Appeal. Featuring Putney and Wimbledon Brass Band. The evening will feature uplifting pop classics, carols and seasonal songs, to get you into the mood for the festive season.

6 Sutton Sings… Christmas!

St Andrew’s Church, Cheam, 6 December

Join Sutton Music Trust for their festive vocal showcase, with choirs from a variety of Sutton schools performing alongside their borough choirs. The evening will culminate in a performance of Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’. This will be the perfect way to kick off the festive season!

7 Carols at the Windmill

Wimbledon Common, 9 December

Mulled cider, mince pies, and the Wandle Concert Band…the best way to get into the Christmas spirit!

8 Carols with Wimbledon Community Chorus

Wimbledon Quarter Shopping Centre, 12 December

WCC will be singing carols to herald the arrival of Christmas in aid of the St George’s Hospital Charity at Wimbledon Quarter Shopping Centre 6.30pm – 7.30pm – come along – there is always room for more carol singers!

9 Carols at Christmas with Royal Trinity Hospice

Clapham Common, 14 December

Come along to ‘Carols at Christmas’ on Clapham Common, for an evening of festive feel-good sing-alongs and readings. Mince pies and refreshments will be available, starting at 7pm, advance registration is encouraged but not essential. Free to attend, with donations welcomed in support of Trinity.

Art Events in December

1 Richmond Art Society Winter Exhibition 2023

Landmark Arts Centre, 1-3 December

Over 50 artists presenting a wide variety of work for sale, including watercolours, oils, prints, photographs, sculptures and more. Entry is free.

By Natalie Bird

2 Putney Art Exhibition

Keswick Rd, Putney, 1-3 December, times vary

An exhibition by four of Putney’s leading artists – photographer Ricky Leaver, sculptor Sophie Marsham, printmaker Tammy Mackay and painter Dora Bodrogi.

3 Poppy Field Fine Art: Figurative Sculpture Masterclass

Battersea Business Centre, 4-8 December

Sculpt a half-life-size clay figure with professional sculptor Poppy Field. Watch demonstrations, receive individual critiques, and create your own sculpture to take home.

4 From Cradle to Cave: The Iconography of the Nativity In Late Medieval Italian Art

Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, 13 December

A lecture by Helen McIldowieJenkins, hosted by The Arts Society Wimbledon. What does the ancient Nativity icon from the Orthodox East actually mean and why does late Trecento art show something different? This lecture traces the fascinating development of the Nativity image, from its Byzantine roots to the more familiar devotional images from late 14th century Italy.

5 Christo and Jeanne Claude: Boundless

Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea, runs ‘til 22 January

A retrospective look at the career and achievements of artistic collaborators and life partners Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

5 Artisan Fair

Ashley Centre, Epsom, 15 – 24 December

Stock up on some fabulous goodies for Christmas with gift ideas from local makers, crafters and other small businesses.

Community events in December

1 BCA/Barnes Runners Turkey Run 2023

3 December

The runners of Barnes are dusting off their trainers and turkey outfits in preparation for this year’s Barnes Community Association/ Barnes Runners Turkey Run. Proceeds go to East Sheen Carers Mental Health Support Group Christmas celebration.

2 Public art installation at Morden Hall Park

Runs throughout December

Morden Hall Park is asking visitors to bring something unique that represents who they are, their story and culture, and display it on a hand-crafted festive globe that will be hanging in the Kiln Room.

3 Wine Tasting Fundraiser

Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington, 8 December

In collaboration with leading wine expert Peter Lunzer, explore wines from around the world, and enjoy food and performances selected to enhance the experience.

3 Short Film Screening

The Ritzy, Brixton, 12 December

Having qualified for the OSCARs and BAFTAs 2024, proudly Brixton-based short film THE STUPID BOY is returning to its birthplace for a night that will be as much of a celebration of Brixton creativity and spirit as the film was itself to make.

3 George Irvin’s Winter Fun Fair

Clapham Common, 2 Dec – 7 Jan

All the the fun of a traditional fair, for adults and children alike.