Christmas 2017: 10 family shows to book right now

From pantomimes to Dickens, festive productions for all ages

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas
The Lyric, Hammersmith

Back for another year, this wonderful adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ Christmas story is the perfect show to take little ones to – it’s recommended for ages six and under. November 22 – December 24

Jack and the Beanstalk
New Wimbledon Theatre

This beautiful old theatre in Wimbledon town centre has, in recent years, become home to one of London’s most reliable pantos. This year, comedian Al Murray is the star of the show alongside Clive Rowe, best known for playing the dame for many years in the Hackney Empire pantomime. December 9 – January 14

The One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Birmingham Rep

A new version of Dodie Smith’s beautifully barking tale has been adapted for the stage by Debbie Isitt, writer and director of the hit Nativity! films. The show will be just right for kids aged 5+ (plus big kids with a fondness for Smith’s story and the classic Disney version). November 30 – January 13

The Snowman is heading for Sadler’s Wells

The Little Mermaid
Everyman, Liverpool

The Everyman’s ‘rock ‘n’ roll panto’ is a regular Christmas fixture – this year it’s the turn of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale to get shaked, rattled and rolled. November 25 – January 20

The Snowman
Sadler’s Wells, London

The stage version of The Snowman (another seminal Raymond Briggs’ Christmas story) has become a bona fide festive classic in its own right. The show, which is returning for its 20th year, incorporates a live orchestra, dance sequences and magical sets. Oh, and that song, of course. November 23 – December 30

The Lady Killers of Humber Doucy Lane
Touring

Something a little different for the festive period from Eastern Angles Theatre Company, which is taking an anarchic new version of the hilarious Ealing comedy to venues in Ipswich, Peterborough and Woodbridge. Suitable for ages 11+. December 6 – January 20

A Christmas Carol
The Old Vic, Waterloo

Charles Dickens’ tale of Christmas past, present and future is one of the most popular festive stories of them all – and among this year’s many Scrooges is Rhys Ifans, who will be donning the night cap in an adaptation by playwright Jack Thorne (of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child fame). The big question is, will it be be as good as the Muppets’ film version? November 20 – January 20

Rhys Ifans will star as Scrooge (Getty)

Aladdin
Bristol Hippodrome

If it’s good, old fashioned, and a little naff, panto experience you’re after then head to Bristol for a version of Aladdin starring Joe Pasquale and Marti Pellow, out of Wet Wet Wet. December 9 – January 7

The Snow Queen
Polka Theatre, Wimbledon

One of Britain’s very best children theatres presents a new spin on a beloved fairy tale. Recommended for ages 5-11. November 17-February 4

The Arabian Nights
The Lyceum, Edinburgh

Be whisked away from the cold British to the heat of the Middle East, via this staging of stories featuring Sinbad, Ali Baba and more genies than you can rub a lamp at. Watch out for the chess-playing monkey and the flying horse, too. November 26 – January 6


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