FESTIVE FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY THIS CHRISTMAS
Whether it’s a touch of winter magic or a saucy panto that you’re after to get you into the festive mood, you will find plenty of inspiration in these pages. As ever, there’s a feast of shows to be had this year, offering everything from enchanting classics to something a bit different.
09 December, 2019
CINDERELLA Shaw Theatre (pictured below Kelli Young, Liberty X will be playing Cinderella)
100-110 Euston Road, NW1 2AJ 020 7666 9021. Mon-Sun, various times, Dec 7- Dec 29.
Come and join in the festive fun with the lovable Buttons, the handsome Prince Charming, the wicked Ugly Sisters, the magical Fairy Godmother and of course, the beautiful Cinderella and make it a Christmas to remember for the whole family. All ages.
CINDERELLA New Wimbledon Theatre
The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19, 0844 871 7646 Tues-Sun, various times, Dec 7-Jan 5, 2020.
Starring Samantha Womack (EastEnders) as The Wicked Stepmother, Lesley Garrett as The Fairy Godmother, Melody Thornton (Pussycat Dolls) as Cinderella and returning to Wimbledon Pete Firman as Buttons.
CINDERELLA – THE ROCKIN’ PANTO
Arts Depot, Tally Ho Corner North Finchley, N12 0844 871 7646 Mon-Sun, various times, Nov 30-Jan 5, 2020.
Get ready for a chart-topping panto packed with loveable characters, adventurous hijinks, and toe tapping tunes from a talented, energetic and sparkly cast of actor musicians! Age 5+
CINDERELLA Lyric Hammersmith
Lyric Square, King Street, W6 020 8741 6850. Tues-Sun, various times, Until Jan 5, 2020.
Polish your glass slippers, dust off your carriage and join us as the clock strikes midnight for the Fairy Godmother of pantomimes, Cinderella. Expect the usual Lyric twist on Wicked Stepmothers, Ugly Stepsisters, pumpkins, mice and more. All ages.
DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Hackney Empire
Mare Street, E8, 020 8985 2424. Tue-Sun, various times, until Jan 5, 2020.
They’re back, oh yes they are! Hackney Empire is delighted to announce Grande Dame Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe will make his 13th pantomime appearance this Christmas starring as Sarah the Cook in Dick Whittington and His Cat joined by Tarinn Callender as Dick Whittington. All ages.
DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Theatre Royal Stratford East
Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, London, E15 , 020 8985 2424. Mon-Sat, various times, until Jan 11, 2020.
Join Dick Whittington on his quest to find adventure, fame and fortune in London, at Stratford East’s annual must-see pantomime. Will he defeat the villainous rodent who’s taken control of the city? All ages.
GODILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS London Palladium
Argyll Street, Westminster, W1F 7TF, 020 7087 7747. Mon-Sun, various times, Dec 7 – Jan 12, 2020.
With an all-star cast including Paul O’Grady who rejoins Palladium favourites Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot alongside Matt Baker from The One Show. Age 3+
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK Bridewell Theatre
Bride Lane, Fleet St, EC4, 020 7353 3331. Mon-Fri 7.30pm (Sat 1pm, 4.30pm) Dec 2-7.
Jack’s village Bloomington, once a blossoming, floral hub of peace and tranquillity has been turned into a smog filled hovel and Jack is determined to get the root of the problem.
MOTHER GOOSE Millfield Theatre
Silver Street, Edmonton, N18, 020 8807 6680. Until Jan 4, 2020.
Join us in Puddle Upon the Marsh, where we meet the very poor Goose Family and follow their adventure, including true love, an evil baddie and of course fairy magic! Age 3+
THE NATIVITY PANTO King’s Head Theatre
115 Upper St, The Angel, N1 020 7226 8561.
Check days and times for family shows, Until Jan 11, 2020.
Charles Court Opera return with their thirteenth gloriously festive boutique pantomime. This year, they’ve taken the story that sparked the season and sprinkled it with a generous helping of magic, whimsy and Christmas cheer to create their most joyous show yet. All ages welcome.
PETER PAN GOES WRONG Alexandra Palace Theatre
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 020 8365 4343. Dec 13-Jan 5, 2020.
Catch a hilarious farce at newly opened Alexandra Palace Theatre this winter. Watch the clumsy members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society disastrously attempt to put together a production of JM Barrie’s most famous tale, in West End smash hit Peter Pan Goes Wrong – certainly one of the more unique Christmas plays in London! Age 8+.
POTTED PANTO Southwark Playhouse
77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1 020 7407 0234. Tues-Sun, various times, Dec 1- Jan 11, 2020.
Seven classic pantomimes in eighty hilarious minutes! A fifth festive season of Potted Panto, hot on the heels of their world tour of Harry Potter parody Potted Potter. sleeping beauty Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill, SE10 020 7927 0900. Mon-Sun, various times, until Jan 5, 2020. Andrew Pollard returns to the tale of the princess put to sleep by a wicked curse – the first pantomime that he performed in at Greenwich Theatre, back in 2006 – but with more than a few added twists. All ages.
WHITE CHRISTMAS Dominion Theatre
Tottenham Court Road, W1T 020 7927 0900. Until Jan 4, 2020.
Irving Berlin’s feel-good family musical will star Danny Mac as Bob Wallace and Dan Burton as Phil Davis, who both reprise their acclaimed roles following the successful run at Curve, Leicester. All ages.
THE LITTLE PRINCE The Place
17 Duke’s Road, WC1H, 020 7121 1100. Dec 17- 24.
Charmingly narrated by a pilot stranded in the desert, you’ll find out how the Little Prince leaves behind his own tiny asteroid and beloved rose and journeys through the universe, coming face to face with the baffling world of grown-ups! Have you ever heard of a king who reigns over nothing? Or a businessman obsessively counting stars?
Special offer for Camden residents: All tickets to the magical show The Little Prince for just £8 (adult tickets usually £14 / adult concession ticket usually £12). To take advantage of this brilliant offer simply enter the promo code: LOCALXMAS when prompted if booking online, by phone or in person.
BLACK BEAUTY Purcell Room
Southbank Centre, South Bank, Belvedere Road, Waterloo, SE1. Mon/Wed-Sun, various times, 020 3879 9555, Dec 14-Jan 5 2020
This kids’ show gallops off the beaten track by mixing gorgeously witty design with an inventive new take on Anna Sewell’s story. Black Beauty follows two famous pantomime horse artists who discover a well-thumbed book, and then tell the equine tales it contains in gag-filled style, with nods to other famous fillies from racing stars to My Little Pony. All ages.
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST Unicorn Theatre
147 Tooley Street, SE1, 020 7645 0560. Until Jan 5, 2020.
This frighteningly funny and delightfully spooky retelling of Oscar Wilde’s comic novel is bought to life this Christmas with spine-tingling magic, spectacular illusions and ghoulish effects. Age 7+
CAPTAIN FLINN AND THE PIRATE DINOSAURS: The Magic Cutlass Leicester Square Spiegeltent
Leicester Square WC2H. 03333 444 167. Until Jan 5, 2020.
Captain Flinn is ready for an adventure! Les Petits theatre company return to the high seas after their hugely successful shows David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon and Adventures in Wonderland. Age 3+
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Old Vic Theatre
The Cut, Lambeth, SE1, 0333 700 8800, Mon-Sun, various times, until Jan 18, 2020.
Enjoy Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in London, as the acclaimed production is brought to life on The Old Vic stage. Age 8+
CHRISTMAS CAROL – A FAIRY TALE Wilton’s Music Hall
Wapping,1-4 Graces Alley off Ensign St, E1 020 7702 2789. Mon- Sun, various times, until Jan 4, 2020 1838, London.
Jacob Marley is dead. And so is Ebenezer Scrooge… In our story, Ebenezer died young, but his sister Fan married Marley and, as his widow, has now inherited his moneylending business. Age 7+
CHRISTMAS TALES The Museum of Comedy
The Undercroft, St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way , WC1A, 020 7534 1744. Until Dec 22.
With plenty of puppets, singing and dancing, Christmas Tales is guaranteed to entertain the very youngest of audience (and grown-ups too!), leaving everyone happy and joyful at this most wonderful time of the year! Ages 0-7.
CIRCUS 1903 Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8 020 3879 9555 Mon & Wed-Sun, various times, Dec 19 -Jan 5, 2020.
Step back in time to the golden age of the circus, with daredevils, acrobats and even life-size elephants thanks to the expert puppeteers behind War Horse as Circus 1903 returns to the Southbank Centre for a special Christmas season.
DISNEY ON ICE at O2 Peninsula Square
Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0DX 020 8463 2000 Mon-Sun, various times, until Jan 5, 2020.
Celebrate 100 years of Disney magic as your favourite characters take to the ice, performing to musical classics that will have both young and old singing along.
ELF: A CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR The SSE Arena
Arena Square, Wembley, London HA9 020 8463 2000 Sat Dec 21-Sun Dec 22.
The smash-hit Broadway musical based on the hit film starring Will Ferrell arrives in town this Christmas. Join Buddy the Elf on his journey from Santa’s Grotto to New York where he searches for his father.
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS Jacksons Lane Theatre (pictured below)
69a Archway Road, N6, 020 8341 4421. Until Dec 24.
Follow the naughty Goldilocks into the woods as she seeks the bowl of porridge that isn’t too hot, and isn’t too cold, but is “just right”. Little does she know that Mummy Bear, Daddy Bear and Baby Bear were really looking forward to breakfast. Age 3+
HANSEL AND GRETEL Chiswick Playhouse
Chiswick, 2 Bath Road, W4, 020 8995 6035. Mon-Sun, various times, Dec 4 -Jan 4, 2020
A tale of magic, mischief, houses made of sweets and other sustainable food sources. This adventure will take the audience far from their city life into a world of lollipop houses, tap-dancing cockroaches and a witch with a penchant for single use plastic and the only remaining sustainable food source: children. Music, puppetry and escapades for all the family. Age 6+.
THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL Sadler’s Wells
Lilian Baylis Studio, Rosebery Ave, EC1R, 020 7863 8000, Tues-Sun, various times, Dec 11-29
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story and beautifully recreated through dance, song and Frank Moon’s live atmospheric music, The Little Match Girl will enthral young children and the whole family alike.
MARY POPPINS Prince Edward Theatre
Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D, 0844 482 5151. Mon-Sun various times, until May 3
Discover the timeless tale of Mary Poppins as it returns to London’s West End. All ages. Nativity! The Musical Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline St, Hammersmith, W6, 0844 249 1000. Mon-Sun various times, Dec 11 – 29. This Christmas join the legendary Sharon Osbourne, father and daughter Danny* and Dani Dyer, TV and radio presenter Rylan Clark-Neal* and West End star Simon Lipkin as he reprises his role as ‘Mr Poppy’ in the hit show.
NUTCRACKER – English National Ballet London Coliseum
St Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross, WC2N, 020 7836 0111 Mon/Tues, Thur-Sun various times, Dec 11- Jan 5, 2020.
Step into a magical world where toys come to life in the annual production of the Nutcracker, a classic Christmas ballet in London. The Ocean at the End of the Lane National Theatre, South Bank, SE1, 020 7452 3000. Mon-Sun various times, Dec 3-Jan 25. A modern myth from the brilliant imagination of Neil Gaiman, creator of Good Omens, the epic American Gods, Coraline, Stardust and the Sandman series. Age 12+
THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA Theatre Royal Haymarket
Haymarket, SW1Y, 020 7930 8800. Daily except Wednesdays, various times, Dec 9-Jan 19, 2020.
Sophie and her mum are just sitting down for tea when the doorbell rings… and they are shocked to find a big, stripy tiger who wants to join them. Judith Kerr’s delightful children’s book is live on stage – purrfect for Christmas. Age 3 and above.
RAYMOND GUBBAY’S MY CHRISTMAS LONDON
Dec 12-Jan 1, 2020. Various venues across London www.raymondgubbay.co.uk/whats-on/my-christmas-london-2019
Enjoy a series of festive concerts across the capital, from a classic Christmas performance and a night of festive tunes from The Jingle Belles at the Barbican, to carols with the Philharmonia Orchestra and The Bach Choir at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
SNOWMAN Peacock Theatre
Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A, 020 7863 8222, until Jan 5, 2020
Spark that festive feeling as the classic winter tale of The Snowman returns to enchant the whole family at the Peacock Theatre. All ages.
STICK MAN Leicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, WC2H, 020 7734 2222. Until Jan 26, 2020.
What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree? All ages.
THE SNOW QUEEN Park Theatre
Finsbury Park, Clifton Terrace, N4, 020 7870 6876. Mon-Sun, various times, Dec 4-Jan 4
Park Theatre’s Christmas show is a frosty jaunt through a festive favourite – Hans Christian Andersen’s story of little Gerda’s quest to rescue her friend Cei, who’s kidnapped by the wicked snow queen. All ages.
WHITE CHRISTMAS Dominion Theatre
268-269 Tottenham Court Road, W1T , 020 7927 0900, Mon-Sun, various times, Dec 3-Jan 4
A timeless romantic comedy to warm hearts of all ages, White Christmas features the classic songs Blue Skies, Sisters and the most famous festive song of all… White Christmas. All ages.
THE WOLF, THE DUCK AND THE MOUSE Unicorn Theatre
147 Tooley Street, SE1, 020 7645 0560. Until Jan 5, 2020.
Join us this Christmas for the stage adaptation of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s brilliantly subversive picture book which finds joy and friendship in the darkest and most unusual of places. Ages 3-7.
WINTER WONDERLAND Hyde Park
Until Jan 5, 2020.
Santa Claus opens his grotto from 10am to 6pm. He is FREE to meet and will have a gift for children who’ve been good! You cannot book a visit to Santa, it’s run on a first-come first-served basis so make sure you plan your day accordingly.
Prices from £11.50, until Dec 24. Come and hear a festive fairytale, meet Father Christmas and his helpers, and receive a wee gift.
ROYAL ALBERT HALL
Price £39.24 per child, Dec 5-22. In this theatrical walk-around event, children will encounter a range of magical North Pole characters in various spaces of the Hall on their way to meet Father Christmas himself.
ZSL LONDON ZOO
Price £12 per child, Dec 7-24. Little ones can Meet Santa in his magical grotto at the heart of the Zoo and receive a special early Christmas gift to take home. Enjoy festive crafts with Santa’s elves before meeting the man himself!
THE WINTER DREAM GARDEN
Price £19.99, Dec 21-22. New for this year is family-friendly attraction The Winter Dream Garden in Bond Street. It’s a theatrical experience, inviting families to wander through a Fairy Kingdom and meet Santa as he makes an appearances (a private audience with Santa is also available).
SANTA’S VICTORIAN GROTTO AT MUSEUM OF LONDON AND MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS
Price £10 per child, Until Dec 23 Christmas gets a Victorian makeover at Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands. Part of the museums are transformed into a Victorian walk, with Santa waiting at the end.
TRAFALGAR SQUARE Until Jan 5, 2020.
Located in Trafalgar Square, join in the festivities with Underbelly’s pop-up Christmas Market.
SOUTHBANK CENTRE WINTER MARKET Until Jan 5, 2020.
Eat, drink and be merry beside the River Thames at our Winter Market. We’ve got more sparkle than an explosion in a tinsel factory, with seasonal goodies, twinkling lights and warming drinks.
WINTER WONDERLAND Until Jan 5, 2020.
You’ll be sure to find all you need for the festive season at our Christmas Markets. With over 100 fairy-lit Bavarian-style wooden chalets, you’ll be spoilt for choice with plenty of gift ideas for friends and family, or even a treat for yourself.
CHRISTMAS BY THE RIVER
London Bridge City, Tower Bridge, until Jan 5, 2020.
The banks of the River Thames are home to the annual Christmas by the River. With views of Tower of London and Tower Bridge, plus a combination of gifts and hot food sold from German-style chalets, it’s a festive way to spend an hour or so.
Camden Market Until January 9 (pictured below)
We didn’t think there’d be room for an ice rink among the hustle and bustle of Camden Market, but they’ve managed to squeeze one into the North Yard. The real-ice rink is new for this year, illuminated by fairy lights and antique chandeliers – how very Camden.
Natural History Museum Until January 22
Skate around the Christmas tree in the courtyard of the museum, surrounded by fairylit trees. Not a skater? No problem – the cafe bar and balcony, offers a view over the ice rink while you sup on a hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Somerset House Until January 12
Somerset House marks the 20th anniversary of its ice rink this year. The Christmas Arcade returns too, for a chance to stock up on Fortnum’s goodies before the big day, as well as the Skate Lounge. New for 2019 is 24-hour skating – not every night, but on selected days, the rink will be open 24 hours to tie in with the 24/7 exhibition.
Tower of London Until January 2
Take to the ice in the moat of the Tower of London, with a cafe in an adjoining marquee, and snowflakes projected onto the castle walls.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Until January 5
The ice rink at Winter Wonderland is set around the bandstand, with a fairy light canopy, and acoustic musicians serenading the skaters on evening sessions. For atmosphere alone, it’s one of our faves, and it also claims to be the largest open air ice rink in the UK (it does get busy). Of course, you have to battle through the madness of Winter Wonderland to get there, which loses it a few points.
Hampton Court Palace Until January 5
The Tudor backdrop of Hampton Court Palace makes a fantastic setting for taking to the ice. Once you’ve glided and twirled to your heart’s content, warm up with mulled wine, other hot, cold and alcoholic drinks as well as festive snacks at the Ice Rink Cafe & Bar.
Covent Garden’s Tiffany-inspired Until December 26
FREE – A slice of the Big Apple lands in the Covent Garden Piazza in the form of the Tiffany & Co ice rink. It’s a promo for the brand’s new perfume.
JW3 ON ICE Until January 5
Jewish community centre JW3 brings back its outdoor ice rink, complete with glimmering lights and music. This ice rink is open on Christmas Day.
CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND CONCERTS
CHRISTMAS AT THE BARBICAN
Silk Street, Barbican, EC2Y
Discover the Barbican’s exciting series of festive concerts, carols and singalongs this December.
ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS AT ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL St Paul’s Churchyard
London’s iconic St Paul’s Cathedral is hosting its annual series of carols, services and recitals. Whether you are attending with kids for the annual Family Carols, reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas at Eucharist services, or enjoying a traditional carol concert, soak up the incredible acoustics of Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece during Christmas in London.
CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND CONCERTS AT ST MARTIN’S -IN-THE -FIELD Trafalgar Square (pictured below)
Charing Cross, WC2N
The annual line-up of Christmas concerts and carols returns to atmospheric St Martin-in-the-Fields church on Trafalgar Square, offering candlelit performances of Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and festive family carols in an elegant Georgian neoclassical setting.
CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL AT ST JOHN’S , Smith Square SW1P
Fill yourself with Christmas cheer amid the Baroque features of St John’s Smith Square. Choral works, classical recitals and carol concerts combine as part of the annual Christmas Festival at the Westminster concert venue, where Benjamin Britten once sang with his school choir.
CHRISTMAS AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
20 Deans Yard, SW1P
Haunting harmonies from the choir and majestic notes from the organ are among the highlights of a series of concerts, recitals and services at beautiful Westminster Abbey. These include the annual Christmas concert, where young choristers and musicians lead an evening of carols, readings and choral works.
CHRISTMAS CAROLS ON TRAFALGAR SQUARE
Charing Cross WC2N. Dec 9 – 24.
The famous Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square again plays host to choirs who perform carol concerts in the run-up to Christmas. Festive classics include the likes of We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Deck the Halls and Away in a Manger.