Our top Christmas Show picks for 2018

Christmas is officially on its way! With the festive spirit filling the air, we’ve put together a handy list of all our favourite Christmas Shows for this year. From family friendly shows to classic ballet, read our top picks below!

For families
If there’s one thing that Christmas is for, it’s spending time with your nearest and dearest. What better way to get together and enjoy the Christmas holidays than with a day out and a show in London? We recommend…

Circus 1903
Featuring sensational puppetry and daring feats, this is a show that will have the whole family in awe. Opening on December 19th, Circus 1903 is a sure-fire way to feel the magic this Christmas.

What’s even better than watching a great show with your family? Saving on tickets, of course! Book now and save up to 35% on selected seats.

Stick Man
stick-man-triplet-one-OXJQThe much-loved adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s children’s book returns to the West End stage this Christmas and is the perfect show for young children. With a running time of just 55 minutes, and plenty of hilarious action to keep them entertained, kids will love this award-winning production. Book tickets now and save up to 48% – tickets start at just £15!

Rumpelstiltskin
A treat for older children (8+ is advised), this classic fairy tale is re-imagined with twists, turns and supreme silliness. Opening on 13th December, this five-star, ‘outrageous rocking musical’ (Sunday Mail) stars Australian singer and cabaret star Paul Capsis. Book now and save up to 44%.

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Nativity! The Musical
Full of your favourite hits from the much-loved films, Nativity! returns to the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo this Christmas, with Danny Dyer, Jo Brand and Dani Dyer in tow! With tickets selling fast, don’t miss out on this star-studded smash-hit.

A Christmas Carol with Simon Callow
Following three previous sell-out seasons, this heart-warming and critically acclaimed production of Charles’ Dickens classic tale returns to the Arts Theatre from 8th December for a strictly limited season. A must-see Christmas story for all generations, if you don’t want to miss out, book your tickets now.

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Ballet
There are few things more magical than taking a trip to see ballet in London at Christmas. Our top ballet productions this year are…

The Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas tale never fails to warm the heart. Opening at the London Coliseum on December 12th, this production from English National Ballet is as traditional and as enchanting as it gets at Christmas! Book now from just £16.80.

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The Snowman
From The Peacock Theatre comes a show that is ‘guaranteed to melt the heart of even the most cynical scrooge’ (The Guardian). Based on the book and film of the same name, The Snowman is returning to the London stage for a record-breaking 21st year. Children under 2 go free and you can book tickets from just £18.

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Girls (or boys!) night out
Celebrate Christmas with your friends with a riotous night out on the town. We’ve got a fabulous selection of shows to keep you more than entertained this Winter…

Briefs: Close Encounters
Grab your red lipstick and prepare for a fierce night of drag, burlesque, circus and everything else you could possibly want with the Briefs boys! Beat the Christmas chills with this super-hot and thrilling show, with tickets starting from £15.

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The boys are also available to make your New Year’s Eve truly and fabulously unforgettable – book tickets to the NYE party of your dreams here.

The Silent Disco Show
Grab your dancing shoes, grab your glowsticks and prepare yourself for a sensory party experience unlike any other. Donning your very own special glowing headphones, this unique club night experience is guaranteed to have you feeling the party spirit this Christmas. Book now from £18.60.

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Burlesque Carol Concert
Carol singing with one hell of a twist, House of Burlesque invites you to raise your voices and your glasses to all of your favourite Christmas songs as they put on a show that’s sure to raise your pulse. With tickets from just £15.60, you can’t go wrong with this one!

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If you didn’t quite find what you were looking for, we have a myriad of incredible events guaranteed to get you feeling festive: browse our fantastic selection of Christmas shows right here.

12 Days of Christmas: London Theatre Style

2017 was a great year for London theatre, and there were certainly more than just 12 things we loved about it. But it’s Christmastime… which means we feel obliged to put a holiday spin on everything. Inspired by “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, here are 12 gifts given to the London theatre world in 2017:

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

12,000 performances of The Phantom of the Opera in London

Production still from Phantom of the Opera London
Ben Lewis and Kelly Mathieson. Photo by Johan Persson.

That’s right: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera has now played over 12,000 performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. In fact, it’s the second longest running musical in the West End.

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

11 years of Wicked in London

The popular musical about the witches of Oz opened in London in September 2006. That means it’s now been defying gravity for a little over 11 years.

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

£10 lottery tickets to Hamilton

But seriously, if your true love did get you tickets to Hamilton, marry him or her immediately. The Tony-winning musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda transferred to the West End earlier this month, but tickets are hard to come by. If you’re feeling lucky, try entering the £10 ticket lottery.

On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

9 Olivier Awards

Production still from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London
Photo by Manuel Harlan

That’s what Harry Potter and the Cursed Child got for an early Christmas present this year. In racking up all those Tony wins, the play broke a record. Magic? Quite possibly.

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

8 theatres owned by Sir Cameron Mackintosh

This year, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres (owned by Sir Cameron Mackintosh) finished restoring the Victoria Palace Theatre just in time for Hamilton. Sir Cameron Mackintosh, producer of shows like Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, owns a total of eight theatres in London: Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, Novello, Gielgud, Queen’s, Noël Coward, Wyndham’s, and the Victoria Palace.

On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

7½ hours of Angels in America

That’s the runtime for the National Theatre’s production of Tony Kushner’s landmark play. With a great cast including Andrew Garfield (who won Best Actor at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his performance), no one seems to mind the incredible length of this production.

On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

6 autism-friendly performances

We counted at least six theatre performances this year that catered to autistic audiences – including plays in both London and New York. Here’s to even more autism friendly performances in 2018.

On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

5-star reviews

The Ferryman banner

That’s what Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman got this year – in addition to a host of awards and a great deal of hype – which according to The Evening Standard is fully justified. The Ferryman received five-star reviews from The Independent, The Stage, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, The Financial Times, and others.

On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

4 ghosts

Production still from A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic
The Old Vic’s production of A Christmas Carol by Jack Thorne

You’re very likely to see four ghosts if you attend The Old Vic’s new production of A Christmas Carol this holiday season. This version of the Dickens classic, which looks gorgeous, stars Rhys Ifans and features a script by Jack Thorne.

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

3 Hamlets

2017 was the year of Hamlet. At the same time last summer, there were not one, not two, but three productions of Hamlet running in London. In one production, Kenneth Branagh directed Tom Hiddleston in the role of the Danish prince; in another, Robert Icke directed Andrew Scott; and yet another starred Gyles Brandreth at the Park Theatre. Now, which one to go to? That was the question.

On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

2 Norwegian diplomats

Production still from Oslo
Photo by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

After making a name for itself on Broadway, J.T. Rogers’ Tony Award-winning play Oslo touched down in the West End in September and is now playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre. The play tells the story of two Norwegian diplomats who arranged top-secret meetings between Israel and Palestine, culminating in the Oslo Accords of 1993.

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

1 Day More

The Act I finale from Les Misérables is officially Britain’s favourite showtune – according to a recent poll by theatre website WhatsOnStage. “Defying Gravity” ranked as the second most popular, followed by “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Bring Him Home”, and “Being Alive.” All good songs, indeed.

What was the best theatre-related gift you received this year?

Review: CHRISTMAS, Theatre N16 – Don’t miss this gritty, bleak midwinter classic ★ ★ ★ ★

If the thought of “Peace, Love and Goodwill to All” fills you with horror, you just might need a trip to Balham’s Theatre N16 where Simon Stephens’ play, Christmas, puts a brutally honest, deliciously cynical twist on the holiday season.

Set in a bleak East End pub where Frank Sinatra looks down from the wall and landlord Michael (Brendan Weakliam) is up to his eyes in debt, the first punter to arrive is casual labourer Billy (Jack Bence). Billy still lives with his mum and although he thinks f**king is an adjective, his limited vocabulary still has a sardonic wit – “I couldn’t, Michael, help but notice the striking economy of your Christmas  decorations”. It’s not just the decorations that are sparse – so are the customers. Read more

Christmas Crackers: Nudity, Burlesque and Potted Dick

Thrills, stockings, drag queens and swingers – Christmas in London never disappoints and this year along with the traditional treats, there are some real crackers to chase the winter blues away.

So while the wine is mulling, the goose is getting fat and the halls are decked with boughs of holly, it’s high time y’all get yourselves into the wonderful West End – here are our top tinselly tips for a Rocking Yule and an unforgettable Xmas! Read more

Cinderella and the Beanstalk: Theatre503

They’ve booked the venue
They’ve bought the costumes.
There’s just one problem. They’ve forgotten to cast any actors.

When award-winning comedy trio Sleeping Trees brought their unique brand of slapstick comedy to Battersea’s Latchmere last year, they sold out with their fast, furious and madcap humour.

Now James Dunnell-Smith, Joshua George Smith and John Woodburn return, jumping from character to character with a seemingly supernatural elasticity. Sleeping Trees comes from a tradition of anarchic buffoonery – but don’t let that fool you – it’s all choreographed with military precision.

Cinders and the giant vegetable
Three men with an unusual gift for climbing vegetables…

Join Cinderella on her perilous adventure as the scheming Rumpelstiltskin blackmails the would-be princess into retrieving his golden eggs from the top of the beanstalk. Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and Jack’s pregnant cow all do their best to get in the way, so the delicious, oversized eggs may not be so easy to reach. Is poor Cinders doomed to spend her life climbing vegetables with just one shoe?

The Latchmere Battersea
The Latchmere Battersea

If you’re looking to treat the family to a magical Christmas but you fancy a change from the usual celebrity-over-substance, try this gem of a show.

★★★★ WHATS ON STAGE
★★★★ WEST END WILMA
★★★★★ BRITISH THEATRE

The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW
Booking: 020 7978 7040
https://theatre503.com/book-online/
Tickets £15/£12 (Plus pay what you can Sundays at 7pm)

Until Saturday 2 January 2016

If you’re looking for other seasonal treats, why not also try one of these fabulous festive fancies:

A Christmas Carol (Rose Theatre Kingston)
Will Scrooge open his heart to the true spirit of Christmas before it’s too late? Find out in the Rose Theatre Kingston’s beautiful production of the Charles Dickens classic.

La Soiree (Southbank)
LA SOIRÉE’s heady cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety is more potent than ever.

La Soiree's Blue Bunny
La Soiree’s Blue Bunny…jump to it!

Wonder.Land (National Theatre)
A giant green screen, astonishing dance numbers and a cast of extraordinary characters make this ambitious and modern production a hugely satisfying re-telling of Carroll’s masterpiece.

The Little Match Girl (Lilyan Baylis Studio)
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, this touching tale of an impoverished young street girl’s hopes and dreams is beautifully told through dance, song and original music performed live on stage.

The Lorax (Old Vic)
Inspired by Dr. Seuss’s classic tale, The Lorax tells of a moustachioed and cantankerous critter who’s on a mission to protect the earth from the greedy, tree-chopping, Thneed-knitting businessman known only as The Once-ler.

Derren Brown: Miracle (Palace Theatre)
Hot on the heels from his sensational sell-out show Infamous, master of the mind Derren Brown returns to London’s Palace Theatre with his most daring magic show yet.

Finally…don’t miss the BBC4 broadcast of Gypsy on Sunday 27th Dec. The show was filmed live at the Savoy Theatre, and stars Imelda Staunton and the delightful Gemma Sutton – you can read our interview with Gemma here.

Whatever you choose to do this festive season,
May your days be merry and bright,
Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good-night!”

TWELVE MUST-HAVES FOR THEATRE FANS THIS XMAS

We sent our elves out to find the best gifts for Theatre Lovers. They came back with twelve perfect pressies – one for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas, ranging from the completely luxurious to the truly affordable. One thing they all have in common is that they’re utterly fabulous.

1. A trip to The Big Apple!

Luxury: Fly to New York in style with BA from London City airport
Budget: Check out apps like Skyscanner, Travelbag or Expedia. If you shop around, you can find flights in January from as little as £250 return.
Try to stay as close to Times Square as you can. We’d suggest the Hyatt Times Square if your budget stretches that far!
135 West 45th Street New York, New York, USA, 10036
Tel: +1 646 364 1234

Time out in Times Square
Hyatt Times Square – the captivating core of the Big Apple!

2. Tickets to see Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl

Luxury: Take your pick of the seats for Britain’s favourite Funny Girl but be quick before they all go!
Budget: Slip an IOU inside the original DVD (£6.80 at the time of writing)….with the promise to queue for £15 day seats nearer the time!

3. Membership of the Audience Club

The first rule of The Audience Club….shhh! Don’t talk about it!  You just pay £5.00 to their favourite charity.

The first rule of The Audience Club....
The first rule of The Audience Club? Don’t talk about it!

4. Hamilton The Musical

Luxury: Splash out and see Hamilton The Musical – set to sweep the board at the 2016 Tony Awards. (Flights and hotel not included!)
Budget: If you can’t get to New York, bag the Hamilton soundtrack.

5. A Trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Luxury: The eye-wateringly expensive Waldorf Astoria on Princes Street offers spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle – be sure to ask for a room with a view!
Budget: The University of Edinburgh offers student rooms which are basic but central.
Top tip: Book trains 12 weeks in advance for the very best deals. Everything is at a premium in Edinburgh during the festival – for good reason. It is utterly brilliant.

6. Theatre Tokens

The Society of London Theatre’s Theatre Tokens are the perennially popular Xmas gift whatever your budget. Perfect if you just can’t decide what to see!

7. Kristina från Duvemåla

If you haven’t heard this Abba-meets-Les Mis soundtrack then you really must. The Carnegie Hall concert recording has a string of 5 star reviews. Take a listen and you’ll soon hear why.

8. Café Press

Fabulous gifts for Theatre Lovers of all budgets at the wonderful Cafe Press. Pick pretty much anything from here and you’d even bring a smile to the Phantom’s face….

If it's got a Musical connection, you'll find it at Cafe Press
Seen the show, bought the T-shirt…

9. Dinner at Rules

A must for any theatre lover, Rules Restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden is London’s oldest and has even featured in Downton Abbey. This was where Elaine Stritch learned of the sad demise of Noel Coward. Vouchers allow you to set an amount to fit your budget.

10. Opera glasses

Look like a real theatre luvvie with these gorgeous Opera Glasses – just £24.99 from Dresscircle.

11. Indulge yourself with a weekend in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Visit the birthplace of Shakespeare – it’s a lovely place for a stroll by the river. The mid-priced Premier Inn offers prices from just £35.00
If you’re more of a city-dweller, why not enjoy a backstage tour of Shakespeare’s Globe in the heart of London? Adults £15.00 – concessions available.

Brush up your Shakespeare this Christmas!
Brush up your Shakespeare this Christmas!

12. Lego – yes really!

This might be one for the kids, but just look at what artist JanetVanD came up with – a perfect replica of Her Majesty’s Theatre! If that’s a bit ambitious, try starting with the lovely Palace Cinema!

The ultimate Lego Theatre!
The ultimate Lego Theatre….just awaiting the Chandelier!

Have a very Theatrical Christmas…and happy shopping. xxx

Is this the West End’s most expensive ever show?

Firstly, an apology. We’re about to use the C word. Christmas….and it’s still only August.

While we’re used to stories about the high cost of West End Theatre, even we were a little shocked at the news this week that a festive trip to Elf – The Smash Hit Musical will cost up to an eyewatering £240.00 per ticket. The show will star Kimberley Walsh (Girls Aloud, Strictly Come Dancing, Shrek The Musical) alongside  Joe McGann, Jessica Martin and Ben Forster (Jesus Christ Superstar).

Our advice is simply to avoid the uber-expensive seats. The Dominion is one of those theatres which, because it was once a cinema, tends to have pretty great views wherever you sit.

Read more