Want a show to help get you into the festive spirit but can’t decide what to see? We’ve got you!
It can be difficult to decide on a show amongst the array of pantos and adaptations of A Christmas Carol – for ease we’ve included these at the end of the post, but first let’s take a look at the other Christmassy shows on offer!
Where: Southwark Playhouse
When: 7th December – 7th January
How Much?: Previews £16 // £28 after Press Night (£22.50 for concessions)
Who’s Holiday! is a wildly funny and heartfelt adults-only comedy by Matthew Lombardo that tells the story of Cindy Lou Who as she recalls that Christmas Eve she first met the Grinch and the twisted turn of events her life has now taken.
Starring legendary US Drag superstar Miz Cracker, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars as Cindy Lou Who, book your tickets now for the European premiere of this hilarious festive treat.
Where: Dominion Theatre
When: On Now – 7th January
How Much?: Tickets from £20 (LIT Tip: Day Tickets available from the box office for £29.50)
ELF – the smash hit Christmas musical based on the beloved film – has returned to London!
ELF is the funny and charming tale of Buddy, who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag as a baby and was 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.
Where: Peacock Theatre
When: On Now until 31st December
How Much?: From £18 on the show’s website,
Featuring colourful sets and extravagant costumes, exuberant dancing and a heart-warming story, The Snowman continues to enchant audiences of all ages and returns to the Peacock Theatre for its 25th year. A magical stage adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson, The Snowman will leave you with a sense of wonder and joy as you will be transported to the wintery wonderland of a boy and a snowman who comes to life.
Join them on their magical adventure to the North Pole and relive a festive classic that, once again, will not disappoint.
Where: Kings Head Theatre
When: Until 24th December
How Much?: From £10
Harry sits alone in his London flat, counting his cards, waiting for anyone to call him; perhaps for an old friend to knock on the door, or for an old lover to appear or just for someone to have a drink with. Waiting for anyone, really. Anyone. As the dreaded Christmas Day nears his sense of isolation deepens and he falls further into the trough of despair.
This portrait of loneliness and isolation confronts the huge, often unspoken issues that affect many people for whom the end of December, rather than being a festive season, is a time when emotional pressures are at their highest.
Harry’s Christmas is a searingly dark comedy that was originally performed at The Donmar Warehouse in 1985, yet the ideas explored through the life of one man in this complex and microscopic examination of society’s hypocrisy are as relevant today as they were then, if not more so and they affect millions of people.
ROYAL ALBERT HALL CHRISTMAS SHOWS
The Royal Albert Hall have a wide selection of shows on this Christmas, there is something for everyone!
Highlights include: Rick Astley’s Swinging Christmas (15th and 16th December, tickets from £45), Trevor Nelson’s Soul Christmas (19th December, tickets from £20), The Nutcracker (28th-31st December, tickets from £30), and more.
PICTURE PERFECT CHRISTMAS SHOW
Where: National Gallery
When: 26th November – 23rd December
How Much?: £15 per ticket
Based on Avercamp’s iconic 17th century oil painting, ‘A Winter Scene With Skaters Near A Castle’, The National Gallery’s Picture Perfect Christmas will see the venue transformed into a wintery theatrical feast where the audience will be taken on an adventure of the secret life that lives within art, in a first-of-its kind event for The National Gallery.
Perfect for the family and children of all ages, guests experience the story of two children meeting magical creatures, wandering through frosted landscapes, for the ultimate festive day out. Visitors can expect songs, dancing and Christmas cheer!
TICKETS AND MORE INFO
THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
Where: Gillian Lynne Theatre
When: Until the 8th of January 2023
How Much?: From £19.50 on the theatre’s website (LIT TIP – Today Tix Rush for £25).
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.
Voted the nation’s favourite novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe now comes to the stage starring Samantha Womack as the White Witch and is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.
Where: Eventim Apollo
When: 15th – 31st December
How Much?: From £20
Sensational puppetry from the award-winning team behind War Horse and The Grinning Man bring elephants to the ring in ways you’ve never imagined, let alone seen, before. Prepare to be amazed as a host of the most unique, heart-stopping, riveting acts from around the world come together in the Royal Festival Hall this season. See strong men and contortionists, acrobats and musicians, knife-throwers and high-wire walkers and more. This show is guaranteed to thrill, capture and captivate the whole family. Give the gift that will keep everyone talking for months, Circus 1903 tickets are the perfect gift for young and old!
FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
Where: Theatre at the Tabard
When: 8th – 31st December
How Much?: From £19.50 – Concessions available
On a trip to the countryside for Christmas, five siblings discover a magical, ancient and grumpy sand fairy whose wish-granting isn’t always as straightforward as they might hope.
A series of wishing adventures ensues, with some lessons along the way in being careful what you wish for.
Join Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, baby ‘Lamb’ and the mysterious Psammead for some fun, frolics and flights of fancy at the Tabard this Christmas.
Adapted by Louise Haddington from the classic children’s book by E. Nesbit, author of The Railway Children, Five Children and It is a magical, festive production for the whole family.
YIPPEE KI YAY
Where: Kings Head Theatre
When: Until 31st December
How Much?: From £17.50
Acclaimed retelling of classic film Die Hard from Richard Marsh – Fringe First-winner, London poetry slam champion, BBC Audio Drama Best Scripted Comedy Drama award-winner and New York cop (one of these is untrue). This joyfully funny show makes its London debut following rave reviews for its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe, & ahead of an international tour.
PALLADIUM PANTO – JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
When: 10the December – 15th January 2023
How Much?: From £20 – (LIT TIP: the show is in the Official London Theatre Sale!)
With an ALL-STAR cast including; Dawn French, Julian Clary, Alexandra Burke, Gary Wilmot, Nigel Havers, Paul Zerdin, Rob Madge, Natalie McQueen and Louis Gaunt.
The Palladium Panto is known as one of the best in London – and is guaranteed to be hilarious with this cast!
DUKE OF YORK’S THEATRE – MOTHER GOOSE
When: 15th December – 29th January
How Much?: From £25
The iconic Ian McKellen and the hilarious John Bishop join forces in Mother Goose.
Meet Mother Goose (McKellen) and her husband Vic (Bishop). Running an Animal Sanctuary for waifs and strays, they live a wholesome life inside an abandoned Debenhams. But when a magical goose comes a-knocking, will fame & fortune get the better of them?!
NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE – SNOW WHITE AND SEVEN DWARVES
When: Until 31st December
How Much?: From £13 + £3.80 booking fees.
And another ALL-STAR cast! Leading the cast is West End legend Ruthie Henshall! The casting also boasts Brenda Edwards, Lee Mead, Matthew Kelly, Dick & Dom, John Archer and Hannah Lowther. Produced by Crossroads Pantomimes, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the perfect Christmas treat for your family.
RICHMOND THEATRE – GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS
When: Until 31st December
How Much?: From £13 + £3.80 booking fees.
For four weeks only, Richmond Theatre will be transformed into a sensational circus, with a show featuring extraordinary special effects and amazing circus tricks as well as all of your favourite moments from a traditional pantomime such as slapstick scenes, boos and hisses, singalongs and much more!
Starring Blue Peter and Countryfile’s Matt Baker!
HACKNEY EMPIRE – MOTHER GOOSE
When: Until 31st December
How Much?: From £10, there are £12 tickets for Key Workers on certain dates – plus concessions save £2 on ticket prices.
The Mother of all pantomimes is back in Hackney this festive season, starring Clive Rowe as Mother Goose. First created in 1902 for Music Hall legend and performer Dan Leno, Hackney Empire are thrilled to be able to celebrate 120 years of this iconic pantomime at the end of their 120th birthday year!
Packed full of all of your favourite pantomime ingredients, this reimagining of the classic rags-to-riches tale is the perfect festive treat. Expect larger than life characters, gloriously outrageous costumes, incredible live music, uncontrollable laughter and loads of audience participation… oh yes, there definitely is.
Where: Apollo Theatre
When: 17th December – 8th January
How Much?: From £20
Seven classic pantomimes in 70 hilarious minutes! The Olivier Award nominated festive celebration Potted Panto is back for four weeks only.
In a madcap ride through the biggest stories and best-loved characters from the wonderful world of pantomime, our 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.
PARK THEATRE – RUMPELSTILTSKIN
When: 13th December – 14th January
How Much?: First 15 tickets for every performance are £15, then tickets are £25. Park Up Members (Under 26 year olds) can access £10 tickets.
Charles Court Opera’s annual boutique Christmas shows are legendary, and Rumpelstiltskin – an upside down re-telling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale – will be no exception.
A 21st century morality tale of names, identities, adventure and hilarity, Rumpelstiltskin is full of cheeky humour, magical music and a cluster of fantastical characters, all wrapped in their trademark off-the-wall wacky and wonderful weirdness. This must-see show is like no other – and is the perfect festive fairytale treat for families, adults, kids and friends alike. Imaginative, irreverent and irresistible!
Performances marked ‘Adults Only’ are suitable for over 18s, containing adult humour – naughtiness with bells on!
Battersea Arts Centre are staging Little Red Robin Hood a co-production with Sleeping Trees (known for their mash-up pantos), the BAC are doing ‘Pay What You Can’ at certain performances to help those struggling in the current cost of living crisis. Tickets start from £19.50 outside of this scheme.
Oh and there is Cinderella at Theatre Royal Stratford East – you can read Amy’s interview with Tendai who is starring as Amanza here!
A CHRISTMAS CAROL ADAPTATIONS
THE OLD VIC – A CHRISTMAS CAROL
When: Until the 7th January
How Much?: From £12
DOLLY PARTON’S SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS CAROL
Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London South Bank Centre
When: 8th December – 8th January
How Much?: From £18.50 (Concessions Available)
Set during the 1930s in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee, this heart-warming and truly unforgettable production imagines Ebenezer Scrooge as the owner of a mining company town, where his callous greed blinds him to the joys and gifts of the season.
As a Christmas Eve snowstorm approaches, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who compel him to see life anew and discover that love is the greatest and most precious gift we have.
Dickens’ classic characters and Parton’s one-of-a-kind songwriting and storytelling expertise are certain to make this the most joyful Christmas event.
*Dolly doesn’t actually appear in the show
A SHERLOCK CAROL
Where: Marylebone Theatre
When: Until 7th January
How Much?: From £15!
Three Christmases since the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes has little appetite for mince pies or for solving crime. Wandering through Victorian London, he meets a grown-up and not-so-Tiny Tim Cratchit who implores him to investigate the mysterious death of his reformed benefactor, one Ebenezer Scrooge.
The worlds of Dickens and Doyle combine in this ‘instant holiday classic’, coming to London for the first time, just a stone’s throw from 221B Baker Street itself.
MIDDLE TEMPLE HALL – A CHRISTMAS CAROL
When: 20th – 29th December
How Much?: From £45.
First staged in 2012 and firmly established as one of London’s most magical Christmas treats, this festive celebration combines the ghostly tale of Ebenezer Scrooge with original songs inspired by the carols of a traditional Victorian Christmas.
Step off the bustle of Fleet Street and journey through cobbled alleyways and gas-lit courtyards to arrive at the hidden historical gem Middle Temple Hall – a location well-known to Dickens himself, who studied law at the ancient institution.
Decked with boughs of holly, filled with the scent of mulled wine and mince pies and brimming with festive cheer, enter the magnificent wood-panelled hall and immerse yourself in this joyous adaptation of the beloved Christmas classic for everyone aged 6 and over.
SH!T-FACED SHOWTIME: A PISSEDMAS CAROL
Where: Leicester Square Theatre
When: 15th December – 7th January
How Much?: Tickets from £17.50 (+ £2.63 fees) – Tickets available including mulled wine and a mince pie!
In this smash-hit spooktacular, the casts of Sh!t-Faced Showtime and Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare have teamed up to bring you more debauched drunkenness than you can shake a cocktail stick at.
Fresh from our run at the Edinburgh Fringe, we’re bringing you Dickens’ classic tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his Divine intervention. Revamped with brand new songs orchestrated by his favourite spirits, this festive tale gets a much needed shake up.
Featuring a cast of professional actors, with a single intoxicated cast member thrown into the mix each night, this all singing, tipple slinging, merriment bringing, booze-ical is bound to leave you gasping for a chaser. Bar! Rum! Glug!
GHOSTED… ANOTHER F***ING CHRISTMAS CAROL
Where: The Other Palace
When: Until the 24th December
How Much?: From £30
Performed by a multi-tasking cast of just four actors and laced with atmospheric and cheekily rewritten Christmas carols, this fresh take on the much-loved fable is a festive comedy of terrors.
Eloisa Scrooge is the world’s worst boss, until she’s nominated for a Christmas Eve makeover from an exuberant trio of queer ghosts.
Taking her back to her past, and forwards to the shocking future that awaits her if she doesn’t change her ways, they show her a life that’s lost its way, and her impact on those around her – most of all her beleaguered assistant Bobbi Cratchitt.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL-ISH
Where: Soho Theatre
When: 7th – 23rd December
How Much?: From £21
Having successfully attempted to escape from a locked tank of water, and less successfully managed to vanish an elephant, Yorkshire pudding Mr. Swallow returns this year with a musical retelling of Dickens’ festive classic A Christmas Carol.
Co-starring Mr. Goldsworth (David Elms) and Jonathan (Kieran Hodgson), they are also joined by P&O Ferries favourite, lounge singer Rochelle Kelly (Sarah Hadland). Jangle those jingles, devour those Christingles, it’s time for some Christmas chaos…
Where: Theatre Peckham
When: 1st December – 23rd December
How Much?: Full Price -£15 // Concession -£12 // Access -£7.50 // Peckham Local -£5
Scoogelicious, Peckham’s take on Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol takes centre stage this December, written by playwright and actor Geoffrey Aymer and presented by Theatre Peckham.
This impressive festive family show blends storytelling, dance and song with an original music score by Jordan Xavier featuring rap, RnB, hip hop and funk. Aymer reunites with Theatre Peckham’s Artistic Director Suzann McLean to present a refreshed and entertaining allegorical tale that will deeply resonate with audiences across London.
As is Theatre Peckham’s tradition, the annual Christmas show, directed by Suzann McLean, will be performed by an inspiring mix of professional actors and young people from their Academy, which nurtures the next generation of young performers.
Plus there is also Nicholas Hytner’s A Christmas Carol at Bridge Theatre from the 6th – 31st December.
And Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s adaptation of the classic at Rose Theatre until the 2nd of January!