The Best Christmas Theatre and Pantomimes in London to Book Now cover photo

The Best Christmas Theatre and Pantomimes in London to Book Now

The Best Christmas Theatre and Pantomimes in London to Book Now cover photo
Stage Savvy avatar
Stage Savvy
2 Nov 2021 · Follow on Stagedoor

Oh, no, it's not too early to book yourself a festive theatre trip to remember!

After all, theatres have been planning the festive good times for months - many bank on pantos to stay afloat, so if you'd like to support your local venue, book early for a a whole-family panto treat.

Plus, planning ahead for Christmas means you can plan the kind of memorable group trip you'll be talking about for years afterwards: and everyone can sit together, rather than having to shove granny up to the gallery after the best seats are gone.

Of course, you don't have to see in Christmas with a dedicated festive show: check out our listings for an abundance of sharp plays, hit musicals, and immersive adventures. The true spirit of Christmas is going together with your loved ones - and resisting the urge to disown them when they nod off in the second half because after all, the season's spirit of goodwill is even stronger than that potent mulled wine you enjoyed at the interval.

Here's what to book for every kind of festive trip, from office knees up to a toddler's first theatre show:

The family panto outing

It wouldn't be Christmas without the uniquely British tradition of pantomime, and it comes in more flavours than your interval ice cream. If you want something smart and woke, then Lyric Hammersmith is the one to go for: this year, writer Vikki Stone is retelling the story of Aladdin. Whiz through panto plots at high and hilarious speed and long-running hit Potted Panto. Or opt for something celeb-filled and rather more traditional with Pantoland which stars Julian Clary, Donny Osmond, Nigel Havers and dancers The Tiller Girls in an innuendo-stuffed festive extravaganza.

The one to take teens to

Christmas doesn't have to mean kitsch: teenagers and fantasy fans alike will thrill to the National Theatre's rave-reviewed The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which adapts Neil Gaiman's book into a moving meditation on the divide between childhood and adulthood. Or rip apart a set text with Pride and Prejudice (sort of), an Austen inspired romp that's perfect for anyone who was gripped by Bridgerton.

The one for tiny kids

Take the tots on their first ever theatre trip with Unicorn Theatre's magical show for babies, Scrunch, which is inspired for their famous preference for wrapping paper over actual presents. Or get under sixes an audience with the one and only man in red, Father Christmas, told at Lyric Hammersmith using Raymond Briggs' quirky rhymes.

The big office night out

You can't expect Steve from accounts to sit through three hours of Chekhov: but if you're unlucky enough to be charged with planning your team's festive knees up, there are plenty of slick, hilarious and eyebrow-raising shows that'll get everyone talking about something other than that time the third floor toilets flooded. Try The Dina Martina Christmas Show, a totally surreal night of kitsch drag merriment. Or push the boat out at La Clique, a West End cabaret night packed with cabaret stars with more punch than a long-arm stapler.

For those who need to get the joy of Christmas back

After last year's festive fiasco you'd be forgiven for thinking 'the magic of Christmas' was just a rubbish greeting card slogan - but it's real, I promise, and a visually stunning dance show is just the way to convince yourself. Try Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker, a sugar-sweet ballet full of covetable costumes and dazzling adventures. Or revisit seasonal classic The Snowman with a dance version that'll have you walking on air.

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