The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Shows 2023

Get into the festive swing of things and come along to these rollicking good Christmas shows taking place all around London and Surrey!

From classic pantos for all the family to raunchy alternatives for adults, there’s something for everyone this holly-jolly season.

Pictured above: Cinderella – New Wimbledon Theatre by Craig Sugden

Festive family fun:


The Snow Queen – Polka Theatre, Wimbledon, 11 November – 8 January

Based on the classic story by Hans Christian Anderson: Gerda is on the magical quest of a lifetime. Her best friend Kai has disappeared with the mysterious Snow Queen, and if Gerda doesn’t rescue him soon, he’ll be trapped in an endless winter forever. INFO


The Night Before Christmas – Polka Theatre, 18 November – 14 January

An original play by Hattie Naylor inspired by Clement Clarke Moore’s much-loved poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ featuring original music, skilful puppetry and a generous sprinkling of festive magic. Age range: 2-6 years. INFO


Peter Pan – Rose Theatre, 1 December – 7 January

This Christmas, an enchanting adventure awaits. Award-winning writer Evan Placey adapts J.M. Barrie’s children’s classic in a brand-new version, with music and lyrics by Olivier Award-winner Vikki Stone (Hey Duggee), directed by Lucy Morrell (Beauty and the Beast). Packed with song, dance, magic and featuring members of the talented Rose Youth Theatre. INFO


Dick Whittington – Richmond Theatre, 9 December – 7 January

Join Dick Whittington as he seeks fame, fortune and happiness journeying to become Lord Mayor. Can he outwit the evil rodent Queen Rat and free the city from his team of revolting rodents? Find out in the ultimate magical pantomime adventure! Packed with all the traditional pantomime ingredients Richmond audiences know to expect, don’t miss the action-packed pantomime that promises to be full of laugh-out loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses. INFO


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. INFO


Horrible Histories, London Barbican, 29 December

The Horrible Histories team takes on Christmas and gives it a unique twist. There are Victorian villains, Medieval monks, Puritan parties and Tudor treats, alongside Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII and St Nicholas who are joining forces to save Christmas. INFO

Image: Richard Haughton
Horrible Histories pic - credit Richard Haughton


Rapunzel – Theatre Peckham, 5-24 December

Coming this Christmas is another Yuletide cracker from Theatre Peckham! While some crave material wealth, it’s actually those with richness of soul who can overcome any adversity. You’ve heard of his-story; you’ve heard of her-story; well, get ready for hair-story! Let Rapunzel and friends sprinkle a little Barnet Magic on you this Christmas. INFO


Little Red Robin Hood – Battersea Arts Centre, 6 December – 8 January

DISASTER! The wicked Sheriff of Nottingham has captured the famous outlaw Robin Hood! Who is going to stand up for the people now? Surely not a tiny girl in a red riding hood? Sometimes the true hero is the person you least expect, as Red Riding Hood heads into the forest to defeat the Sheriff, find her Grandma and discover her destiny. INFO


Cinderella – New Wimbledon Theatre, 8 December – 7 January

Cinderella will delight audiences in South-West London this festive season, with TV judge Craig Revel-Horwood in the role of the Wicked Stepmother and Wimbledon fan-favourite, comedy magician Pete Firman returning to the venue to play Buttons. INFO

Photo credit: Craig Sugden


Peter Pan – New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 8 December – 7 January

Beloved comedian Paul Chuckle and Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke will be coming to the New Victoria Theatre’s panto performance of Peter Pan! Paul will be playing Starkey and Anton will be in the role of Smee. INFO

Photo credit: Ian Olsson


Jack and The Beanstalk – OSO Arts Centre, Barnes, 9-23 December

Laugh, shout, and sing yourself silly this Christmas at a classic panto reimagined, where magic takes root and out sprouts a fantastic fairytale of grumpy giants, broken bridges, and hilarious heists! Brought to you by the team behind Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Rapunzel. INFO


Jack and the Beanstalk – Lantern Arts Centre, Raynes Park, 13-17 December

Fairyland is normally a happy-go-lucky kingdom, but the Wicked Witch of West Wimbledon and a Terrible Giant are terrorising it with high taxes and scary threats!  Can Jack and his friends (many of whom you’ll recognise from your favourite fairy tales) defeat them or will Christmas be ruined? INFO


The Wizard of Oz – Epsom Playhouse, 15 December- 1 January

Join Dorothy as she begins her adventure into the wonderful land of Oz. Helped along the way by Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow. A show filled with excitement, laughter and the usual panto magic. INFO


Robin Hood – Leatherhead Theatre, 16-30 December

The nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham is fed up with his riches being robbed and will stop at nothing to rule supreme in Sherwood Forest – and there is one man with his Merry Band standing firmly in his way! INFO


Aladdin – Fairfield Halls, 16 December – 7 January

Join hero Aladdin, his mother Widow Twankey and his brother Wishee Washee as they embark on a magical adventure and try to defeat the evil Abanazar and his plan to become master of the world with help from the Genie of The Lamp and the Spirit Of The Ring. An enchanting tale of magic, mayhem and misunderstandings live on the famous Ashcroft Theatre stage. INFO


Snow White & The Seven Dwarves – Dorking Halls, 16-28 December

Welcome to the most magical pantomime ever told, where poor Snow White is doomed to live UN-happily ever after…with her horrid stepmother the Wicked Queen. A show bursting with great songs, fantastic dance routines and plenty of laughter, this is a tremendous treat for all the family. INFO


Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol – Orange Tree Theatre, 18 December – 6 January

When Bob Cratchit takes over the company from his old boss Ebenezer Scrooge, he discovers it’s tough at the top. In fact, he works so hard that this year he might cancel Christmas. So now it’s up to Tiny Tim to remind his father of the story of Scrooge and the true meaning of Christmas. Charles Dickens’ much-loved Christmas story is reinvented for families with children aged five to ten. INFO


Nutcracker – Tuff Nutt Jazz Club, runs ’til 6 January

This wild spirited adventure follows young Clive on his quest for self-acceptance. Packed with hope, heart and humour, this Nutcracker is for anyone who wants to live life in full technicolour. It’s playful, mischievous and a lot of fun. Diving into the glittering winter wonderland head on, dancers of The McOnie Company perform to Tchaikovsky’s world famous score, reimagined for an onstage Jazz band. INFO


Cinderella, Lyric Hammersmith, 18 Nov – 6 Jan

The ‘queen of panto’ writer and composer Vikki Stone adapts Cinderella with comedy, live music and plenty of sass! This Cinderella is a boss-lady running her own business at Shepherd’s Bush Market, when handsome Prince Henry visits in disguise one day and instantly falls in love with her. INFO

West End wonder:


Stick Man – Leicester Square Theatre, 21 October – 2 January

London’s family festive fixture! Stick Man will leave the family tree this autumn/winter and return to its West End home for the twelfth year in a row. Based on the book by Julia Donaldson with illustrations by Axel Scheffler, Freckle Productions’ smash-hit adaptation of Stick Man will once again play at the Leicester Square Theatre. INFO


Wishmas: A Fantastical Christmas Adventure – The Old Bauble Factory, 14 November – 7 January

Wishmas is a 60-minute walkthrough experience where you’ll meet festive characters as you explore magical rooms and play your part to ensure no wish is ever forgotten. INFO


ELF the Musical – Dominion Theatre, 15 November – 6 January

Due to popular demand, ELF the smash hit musical returns to London’s Dominion Theatre for a second consecutive year. ELF is the funny and charming tale of Buddy, who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag as a baby as was raised as an elf! But when Santa’s sleigh crashes in Central Park, it’s up to Buddy to save Christmas forever. INFO


The Snowman – Peacock Theatre, 18 November – 30 December

This winter family favourite is the timeless tale of a boy and a snowman who comes to life. Back for it’s 26th year, The Snowman is a magical stage adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson. INFO


Peter Pan Goes Wrong – The Lyric Theatre, 23 November – 14 January

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick, delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring. The play sees the ‘Cornley Drama Society’ back on stage battling technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes as they attempt to present J.M. Barrie’s much-loved tale. But will they ever make it to Neverland? INFO


Potted Panto – Wilton’s Music Hall, 29 November – 30 December

The West End’s longest running pantomime is coming to the East End this Christmas! Wilton’s Music Hall welcomes Olivier Award nominated festive celebration Potted Panto, bringing you seven classic pantomimes in 80 hilarious minutes. INFO

After-dark alternative:


The Nutcracker: A Very Adult Pantomime – Turbine Theatre, 30 November – 23 December

Carlie’s had a terrible year: her love rat ex has ghosted her, her father died in a collision with a Just Stop Oil protest and now her Mum is insistent on still throwing their annual festive party. A typical year in the 2020’s some may say, but thanks to a prezzie from her local drunk uncle – this Christmas will be anything but typical! 18+. INFO


A Very Very Bad Cinderella – The Other Palace Studio, West End, 1 December – 7 January

The Other Palace is delighted to present a brand-new twist on the classic fairy tale this Christmas, full of filthy festive fun. A Very Very Bad Cinderella is written by Neil Hurst (Tracks, Dating for Dogs, The Government Inspector) and Jodie Prenger (Coronation Street, I’d Do Anything). Suitable for audiences 16+. INFO


Jack and the Beanstalk: After Dark – OSO Arts Centre, Barnes, 15-22 December

Come and enjoy an alternative version of the Panto, strictly for adults only, with the addition of some naughty bits to appeal to adult humour! You’ve been warned! Anything can happen in this no-holds-barred version (and it usually does) … 18+ INFO


The Drag Christmas Extravaganza – Clapham Grand, 21 December

The Pink Lion have teamed up with Ireland’s leading drag events company DFIU EVENTS to bring a brand new experience to drag shows in the UK and Europe. Expect an evening of camp Christmas drag madness from a killer drag line up. Age restriction: 14+ (under 18s accompanied by an adult 18+) INFO


The Great Christmas Feast, 14 November – 14 January

Combine a show with a festive feast at this immersive experience. Back in West Kensington, this popular event transports you to Christmas Eve 1843 inside the home of Charles Dickens. Guests enjoy A Christmas Carol, live music and a Dickensian-style menu. INFO