Five must-see pantomimes in London at Christmas
The festive season is rapidly approaching. The infamous Coca-Cola advert, internationally recognised as the start of Christmas, has arrived and Harrods have decked their halls. John Lewis has broadcast their annual tear-jerking advert, Oxford Street’s lights are on, and sundown is at four in the afternoon: all of which indicate a time for treating the kids to the traditional pantomime.
But are we treating the children, or is it secretly a stereotypical British guilty pleasure for all ages? Casts always tend to tell bad, and sometimes very naughty, jokes over younger heads to please their guardians in the audience, as well as bribing our involvement by throwing sweets and treats in the interval, and sometimes even providing a charity raffle.
So for Christmas 2012, here are the five top places to go in London to shout: “He’s Behind You!”
The Three Musketeers at the Rosemary Branch Theatre
This intimate venue is providing a show courtesy of the Charles Court Opera, who are claiming “All for fun and fun for all,” with their version of The Three Musketeers. This sweet venue even offers regular toddler and small children versions of the pantomime, as well as adult-friendly showings (including a glass of fizz for £22.50), so before you book, double-check the ages of your party!
Runs 7th December 2012 – 9th January 2013. Book your tickets here.
Aladdin at The O2 Arena
The O2 Arena is erecting a separate staging area in their yawning forecourt to seat a 1900 capacity audience to watch the tale of Aladdin unfold, starring Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage as the dame and Jon Lee (star of the West End’s Jersey Boys) in the title role.
Runs 7th December 2012 – 5th January 2013. Book your tickets here.
Dick Whittington at the Tara Theatre
A cultural thrill is provided in a Bollywood version of Dick Whittington, who ventures to the golden-paved roads of Mumbai at the Tara Theatre. Written by Harvey Virdi who starred in Bend It Like Beckham.
Runs 5th December 2012 – 5th January 2013. Book your tickets here.
Jack & The Beanstalk at Theatre Royal Stratford East
The Theatre Royal at Stratford East presents Jack & The Beanstalk and with Stratford’s Olympic triumph this year, this local panto promises to please.
Runs from 1st December 2012 – 19th January 2013. Book your tickets here.
Cinderella at The Lyric Hammersmith
The Lyric Hammersmith sees the classic tale of Cinderella twisted into a Sean Holmes’ production. Not long ago Holmes put together the controversial Morning with writer Simon Stephens, and has had a very recent triumph with Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under The Elms. Additionally, after working on a very playful adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2011, his new project is very likely to succeed and add to the artistic director’s astonishing year, it will also be featuring local members of the Lyric Young Company.
Runs 24th November 2012 – 5th January 2013. Book your tickets here.
You are spoilt for choice in London this year for panto, so get booking, celebrating and practicing your best “Oh no he didn’t!”– because it’s officially Christmas.