A guide to Christmas pantomimes and shows in London? Oh yes it is!
There are sooo many things we love about festive season, and Christmas pantomimes and shows in London are way up there on the list. Read on for a Christmas cracker of a guide that includes cool Yule fun and laughter for the whole family.
The Nutcracker, London Coliseum
Over 100 dancers from the English National Ballet bring Nutcracker to life with exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s popular score played live by English National Ballet Philharmonic in this Christmas show essential.
On a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London, Clara receives an enchanted Nutcracker as a present. Together, they discover a magical world where she battles with the Mouse King and meets a handsome stranger. As the air grows colder, Clara and her valiant Nutcracker take a hot air balloon ride across London to the glistening Land of Snow where a puppet theatre comes to life with dancers from around the world. Utterly charming.
When: 15th December 2022 until 7th January 2023
Where: St Martin's Lane, London
Mother Goose, Hackney Empire
What would you do if you found a magical goose who lays golden eggs?! That’s exactly what’s in store for Mother Goose and she soon discovers that this priceless talent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! Packed full of all of your favourite pantomime ingredients, this reimagining of the classic rags-to-riches tale is the perfect Yuletide eggstravaganza. Expect larger than life characters, gloriously outrageous costumes, toe-tapping live music and that all essential audience participation.
When: 19th November until 31st December 2022 Where: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ
The Pixie & The Pudding, Little Angel Theatre
When Charlie and her dad move to the farm from the city, everything seems to go wrong. Dolly the cow is in a grump, there’s not an egg to be found, and even the cockerel has stopped crowing! If only they’d paid attention to the mysterious note left on their windowsill about a curious pixie and the pudding she likes to eat on Christmas Eve… This enchanting musical brings a tale from Scandinavian folklore to life with puppetry, original music and a sprinkling of pixie magic.
When: 18 November 2022 until 29 January 2023.
Where: Little Angel Studios, Sebbon Street, London N1 2EH
Horrible Histories Live on Stage: Horrible Christmas, Barbican
When Christmas comes under threat from a jolly man dressed in red, it’s up to one young courageous boy to save the day – but can he save Christmas? From Victorian villains to Medieval monks, Puritan parties to Tudo r treats, join Horrible Histories Live on Stage: Horrible Christmas on a hair-raising adventure through the history of Christmas along with Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII and St Nicholas...
When: 27-30th December, 2pm
Where: Barbican Arts And Conference Centre Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
Stick Man, Leicester Square
What a wonderful time we had recently checking out this delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's Stick Man. The whole family loved the performance by Freckle Productions, and even our 3-year-old wiggle pants was enthralled the whole way through. Look out for a surprise guest at the end which just made the performance all the more special. Clue: he's jolly, rides a sleigh and lives in the North Pole. The perfect Christmas show in London for families!
When: Now until 2 January 2023 Where: 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX
Robin Hood, Greenwich Theatre
The poor citizens of Nottingham have just about had enough of their scheming Sheriff who has been relentlessly raising taxes (sounds familiar...) and forcing folks to move out to the forest! But fear not, for beloved hero, Robin Hood, is hitting the stage to right those wrongs! Let’s hope he can save the day alongside Maid Marion, Friar Tuck and the rest of the gang, who’ve all joined the good fight! Maybe he could have a word with Rishi & Co while he's at it...
When: 24th November 2022 until 8th January 2023 Where: Greenwich Theatre, Croom's Hill, London SE10 8ES www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/events/robin-hood/
Johnny Feathers the Rock and Roll Pigeon, Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
It’s the day of Jonny’s big gig in Camden Town but he’s lost his guitar and Jonny needs you to join him on the hunt to find it. Vicky the Vixen, Bale the Snail and Basher the Badger will also be helping in a show that's perfect for kids aged 4-8-years. Expect plenty of action, excitement, original songs and the chance to embrace the power of live music with a whole host of guitars, drums, puppets and, of course, festive cheer.
When: 7th until 31st December 2022
Where: Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9BN www.riversidestudios.co.uk/see-and-do/jonny-feathers-the-rock-and-roll-pigeon-47526/
The Showstoppers' Christmas Kids Show, Woolwich
This award-winning musical improvisation show will help make all your kids’ Christmas stories come to life. Shaun the Sheep meets Dora at the North Pole? Done! PAW Patrol help Father Christmas deliver presents? No problem! Peppa Pig and Spiderman build a snowman? Totally. Grown-ups, the kids are in charge for this show and will decide who their heroes are, and what happens next in each story. They'll be encouraged to shout out their ideas so the Showstoppers can bring them to life with a large dash of music and comedy thrown in for good measure: all on the spot! It's recommended for kids age 6-and-up and deffo adds a large dash of fun to a festive treat of a show. When: 17-18 December 2022 Where: The Fireworks Factory, 11 No 1 St, Royal Arsenal, London SE18 6HD
Rapunzel on Ice, Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink Amateur Production presents an ice skating, re-telling of the story of Rapunzel, who has been locked away in a tower since she was captured as a baby by the evil witch. Spending all her days daydreaming about what life could be like on the outside, with the arrival of an unexpected visitor, her dreams suddenly become a reality. Expect adventure, humour, love and hair… lots of hair.
When: 5th until 12th December 2022 Where: Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/rapunzel-on-ice/
Potted Panto, Apollo Theatre
Seven classic pantomimes in 70 hilarious minutes is what you can expect with this hilarious, Olivier Award nominated festive celebration! Potted Panto is back for four weeks only and if you pot yourself some tix you can expect a madcap ride through the biggest stories and best-loved characters from the wonderful world of pantomime. The dastardly double act dash from rubbing Aladdin’s lamp to roaming the golden streets of Dick Whittington's London and making sure that Cinderella gets to the Ball, all in one show that is unmissable fun whether you're six or 106. When: 17th December 2022 until 8th January 2023
Where: The Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES
Wing Scuffle Spectacular, The Albany, Beckenham
This festive season join The Revel Puck Circus as they perform the most extraordinary of acrobatics in a heartfelt performance with an often hilarious and dangerous edge. Watch with bated breath as performers balance on tight ropes, swing around chainsaws and showcase the UK's only teeterboard trio. The Wing Scuffle Spectacular is a tented circus show for the 21st century, and encourages everyone to care for each other, challenge each other and take risks together for higher rewards. This is circus done right for a new generation, folks. When: 15th December 2022 until 8th January 2023 Where: Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham Hill Road, BR3 1SY www.thealbany.org.uk/shows/the-wing-scuffle-spectacular/
Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre
Join Santa as he awakes from a dream of sun, sea and sand only to find it is the busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. Watch as he prepares for his Christmas deliveries, feeds his reindeer and finally takes flight into the snowy night. Yep, back for another brilliant year, this Lyric family favourite, co-produced with the Olivier Award-nominated Pins & Needles Productions, is sure to be a hit with the fam. When: 23rd November until 31st December 2022
Where: The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, London W6 0QL
My Christmas Orchestral Adventure, Royal Albert Hall
Little ones will adore spotting Santa at My Christmas Orchestral Adventure at the Royal Albert Hall. Okay, so it's not a grotto, but this is a family affair that will definitely leave you all with the warm and fuzzies. What's it about? Well, Father Christmas has lost his map on a practice run of his delivery route, and the trusty Royal Albert Hall ensemble have found it and need to get it back to him. Expect to zip around the world on an orchestral adventure that might not be a traditional visit with Santa, but is equally, if not more, memorable and magical.
When: 11 December 2022, 1pm & 4.30pm
Where: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP
The Fir Tree, Shakespeare's Globe
The Globe’s magical festive production The Fir Tree by Hannah Khalil gives Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale a new life on the Globe stage. In a beautiful wood stands a little Fir Tree and kept company by woodland creatures, it enjoys a peaceful life. But the Fir Tree is curious. It dreams of a world outside the forest, yearning for adventure. What will happen when it grows up? Where will it go? And will it be everything the Fir Tree wished for? Imaginations will run wild as the Globe transforms into a hand-crafted forest.
Meet friendly puppets made of cardboard – and make your own to bring to the performance! Take part in carol-singing and tree decorating, and keep cosy with a hot chocolate or mulled wine under the wintry star-lit sky, and then to extend the festivities, why not visit the Swan at the Globe for Festive Afternoon Tea?
When: 15th December until 31st December 2022
Where: Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
Disney on Ice Dream Big, London O2
Join Disney favourites including Moana, Elsa, Aladdin, Coco, Disney Princesses and, of course, Mickey Mouse for an ice-skating performance sensation that will really up the magic ante this Christmas. When: 22nd until 31st December 2022 Where: Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX www.disneyonice.com/en-gb/dream-big
Picture Perfect Christmas Show, The National Gallery
The National Gallery has lined up a series of performances that brings art and theatre together in an adventure of the secret life that lives within art. For a different kind of Santa in London experience, the whole family to enjoy this theatrical production, created with Boo Productions, will transport Avercamp’s iconic 17th century oil painting, ‘A Winter Scene With Skaters Near A Castle’, to a stage adaptation. In a first-of-its-kind event for The National Gallery, the Picture Perfect Christmas Show will see the Theatre transformed into a wintery extravaganza as audiences delve into the story of two children Frederick and Maaike on a journey involving magical creatures and frosted landscapes. Expect songs, dancing and Christmas cheer all to the backdrop of the icy Netherlands in the 1600’s.
When: 26 & 27 November, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 December 2022. 4 shows per day on the above dates at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm.
Where: The National Gallery Theatre, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
Jack and the Beanstalk, London Palladium
The Christmas production of this old fairy tale is given a modern overhaul by the impressive star-studded cast. Veteran actors Gary Wilmot, Nigel Havers, and Paul Zerdin reprise their roles as Queen Nigella, King Nigel, and Simon Trot for the fifth time, while Alexandra Burke plays Mrs. Blundlerbore, with Dawn French as Dame Trot and Julian Clary starring as The Spirit of the Bells.
With lavish costume designs, spectacular sets, special effects, and brilliant music, this is a Christmas pantomime full of festive beans.
When: 10th December 2022 until 15th January 2023 Where: The London Palladium, Argyll Street, London W1F 7TF
ELF the Musical, The Dominion
ELF – the smash-hit Christmas musical based on the beloved film – returns to London with the funny and charming tale of Buddy, who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag as a baby and is raised as an elf! Way too tall and not so great at his job, Buddy is the North Pole’s biggest misfit… and knows he’ll never belong. When Santa tells him the truth, Buddy heads to New York to find his birth father (who turns out to be quite high on the Naughty List). After causing some merry mayhem in Manhattan, Buddy finally discovers the gift of family and falls in love, and when Santa’s sleigh crashes in Central Park, it’s Buddy who finds a way to save Christmas forever!
When: 14th November 2022 until 7th January 2023 Where: The Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ www.dominion.theatre-tickets.com/
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Gillian Lynn Theatre
Step through the wardrobe into the magical kingdom of Narnia for the most mystical of adventures in a faraway land. Join Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as they wave goodbye to wartime Britain and say hello to a talking Faun, an unforgettable Lion and the coldest, cruellest White Witch. Will Christmas ever come to Narnia? Catch the show to find out. When: Now until 8th January 2023 Where: Gillian Lynn Theatre, Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PW
A Christmas Carol, Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre
Two of Dickens’ closest theatrical companions find themselves trapped in the footlights’ glare. With the rest of the cast stuck on a train, actress Frances Ternan and Dickens’ faithful tour manager, George Dolby, take on the daunting challenge of portraying over 30 characters. But who will play Scrooge? Compulsory Christmas stuff!
When: 5th until 10th December 2022 Where: Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QG www.atgtickets.com/shows/a-christmas-carol/studio-at-new-wimbledon-theatre/
Frozen the Musical, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you'll have a vague idea of the Frozen storyline and the theatre version sticks to the Disney classic more than well enough for fans, but also with a few up-to-date twists to keep things fresh. In brief though it tells the tale of two royal sisters, one of which has some pretty impressive powers, but really, at the heart of it all, it's about being true to oneself and about sibling love. It's not strictly a Christmas show, but it's so magical it definitely fits the bill. Read our review before buying your tix. When: Now until June 2023 (it just extended its season: woohoo!). Where: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Richmond Theatre
Goldilocks’ circus is under threat from an evil rival circus owner and, with the help of their madcap circus friends, they’re battling to rescue their Big Top from ruin. Will they succeed? All seems lost, until three brilliant bears join the gang…
Starring TV-favourite Matt Baker, this fun-packed Christmas goodie is full of belly laughs, special effects, and some pretty spiffy circus tricks. When: 3rd December until 31st December 2022
Where: Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ
Sleeping Beauty, Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch
In a magical fairy kingdom, happy plans are underway for Princess Raury’s christening, but a bad fairy has been missed off the invite list and descends on the party casting a wicked curse.
Years later, when Raury pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, and falls into a lonnnng sleep, it takes bravery and courage to wake up and face a very different world.
This timeless tale has been given a Hornchurch twist with an outrageous dame, slapstick comedy and a fantastic original music played by the finest of actor musicians, and we can't wait to see it!
When: 24th November until 31st December 2022
Where: Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch www.queens-theatre.co.uk/whats-on/show/sleeping-beauty/
That's all we have for now, folks, but we'll be updating as more news on more Christmas pantomimes and shows in London reaches our radar!
Hero image: The Nutcracker via English National Ballet
Need some more very merry guides to the festive season? Look no further: