Christmas shows 2012
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
IF YOU like theatre and are wondering what to do this Christmas, the capital will almost certainly have a show to suit your taste. Here, in alphabetical order, is a selection:
59 Minutes to Save Christmas – Barbican Centre – December 15, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
It seems not everyone loves Christmas – Christmas trees are behaving strangely, there are rumours of grumpy fairies and elves throwing baubles at shoppers! And then there is the unexplained mystery of the missing presents…
Someone is out to spoil the fun, the clock is ticking and no one can stop it but you – you have 59 minutes to save Christmas!
An interactive journey around the Barbican Centre for intrepid adventurers and brave parents who might be useful to reach the high stuff!
Simon Callow’s A Christmas Carol – Arts Theatre – November 29, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
Using Dickens’ own performing version of his literary classic as a starting point, A Christmas Carol is co-created by Callow with Tom Cairns, who also directs and designs the production.
Aladdin – Richmond Theatre – December 7, 2012 to January 13, 2013.
Suzanne Shaw stars as The Genie in this traditional pantomime. Her co-stars are Tim Vine (back by popular demand) as Wishee Washee, Helena Dowling as Princess Jasmine and Graham Hoadly as Widow Twanky.
Bringing Down the Moon and others – Pleasance Theatre
Michael Rosen, the Children’s Poet Laureate (2007 – 9) and author of over 140 children’s books, will perform his wonderful show full of poems, songs and jokes including old favorites like We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, while Kipper Tie Theatre will premiere a new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling.
New works include Bringing Down The Moon, a musical adaptation of Jonathan Emmett’s book about a very ambitious mole, and the interactive and joyful The Golden Cowpat, which expresses the importance of community over greed.
Cinderella – Lyric Hammersmith – November 24, 2012 to January 5, 2013.
This year, the Lyric’s traditional pantomime (now in its fourth year) stars Steven Webb (back by popular demand), actress, broadcaster and comedian Mel Giedroyc and West End star Julie Atherton.
Feathers in the Snow – Southwark Playhouse – December 5, 2012 to January 5, 2013.
Beneath a sky full of stars a decision is made. It’s a decision that sets off an astonishing chain of events and a journey involving a talking leopard, a greedy King, a magical bird, a tidal wave, a Sea Witch, a lost soldier, a devious dolphin, a war – and a trail of feathers in the snow…
Get Aladdin – Landor Theatre – December 7, 2012 to January 6, 2013 (ADULTS ONLY).
This year, Above the Stage Theatre’s annual adults-only pantomime comes to the Landor Theatre and finds street-thief Aladdin and his widowed (‘single but experienced’) mum fleeing their Chinese laundry in Clapham and stowing away to the ancient, badly-researched Chinese province of Hao Hung, after they’ve stumbled upon a dangerous magic lamp…
Hansel and Gretel – National Theatre (Cottesloe) – December 7, 2012 to January 26, 2013.
Written by Lucy Kirkwood and devised by Katie Mitchell and Lucy Kirkwood, Hansel and Gretel is based on the story by the Brothers Grimm in which two children are lost in the woods and follow a trail of breadcrumbs to a bewitching house made of sweets…
Midnight’s Pumpkin – Battersea Arts Centre – December 8, 2012 to January 13, 2013.
In this seasonal show with a difference (it is from Kneehigh), preparations are well underway for a Royal Ball as the Prince – Charming of course – is in search of a bride. But to find her he must get past a talking pumpkin, ugly sisters, a batch of severed toes, formation dancing and a particularly stringent midnight curfew.
Pinocchio – Little Angel Theatre – November 17, 2012 to January 27, 2013 (suitable for ages 6 and over).
Created by master puppet maker and director Peter O’Rourke (Alice in Wonderland, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me and The Mouse Queen), this action-packed production is conveyed by four multi-skilled puppeteers, actors and mask performers.
And for younger children (ages 2 – 6), the Little Angel Theatre has Dogs Don’t Do Ballet – December 5, 2012 to January 27, 2013.
Combining the sublime and the ridiculous it tells the story of a small dog with a big personality who just wants to be a ballerina.
Room on the Broom – Lyric Theatre – November 21, 2012 to January 13, 2013 (daytime slot).
Tall Stories’ magical musical adaptation of the bestselling book by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson MBE and Axel Scheffler, takes audiences aboard a magnificent broom for an unforgettable adventure.
Seussical – Arts Theatre – December 4, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
Seussical, described as a colourful Broadway musical set in the fantastical, bombastical and songtastical world of Dr. Seuss, stars David Hunter (a semi-finalist in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ITV1 search for Jesus for his arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar) as Horton the Elephant.
Slava’s Snowshow – South Bank Centre – December 17, 2012 to January 7, 2013.
The multi award-winning international sensation Slava’s Snowshow has delighted and thrilled audiences in over 80 cities around the globe, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.
This Christmas experience a joyous, dream-like world that will touch both your heart and funny bone, culminating in a breathtaking blizzard leaving you literally knee-deep in snow!
Snow White – New Wimbledon Theatre – December 7, 2012 to January 13, 2013.
Actress Priscilla Presley (the Naked Gun series, Dallas) makes her pantomime and London stage debut as The Wicked Queen, alongside film and TV star Warwick Davis as Prof and funny man Jarred Christmas, who is also making his pantomime debut, as Herman the Henchman.
Sooty in Space – Duchess Theatre – December 21, 2012 to January 5, 2013 (daytime slot).
Sooty’s rocket is on the launch pad and he’s off to explore the final frontier but with Sweep at the controls what could possibly go wrong? Everything!
With magic, music and lots of audience participation, Sooty in Space is described as an Intergalactic Giggle for the whole family, and stars Richard Cadell, Sooty, Sweep and Soo.
The Arabian Nights – Tricycle Theatre – November 30, 2012 to January 12, 2013.
The Arabian Nights, The Tricycle’s first family festive show, is described as a global adventure that sweeps through Persia, Arabia, India and Asia – an incredible journey that started over a thousand years ago.
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming – Roundhouse – November 28 to December 30, 2012.
Described as an absurdly funny Christmas story about a distressed potato pancake, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming is the first UK stage adaptation from the rich and strange world of American children’s author Lemony Snicket, best known for A Series of Unfortunate Events, which became a Hollywood film in 2004.
The Prince and The Pauper – Unicorn Theatre – November 25, 2012 to January 13, 2013.
The Prince and The Pauper is a classic tale of what happens when two boys swap clothes one afternoon and as a result, also swap lives. Young street urchin Tom Canty is forced into a world of royal intrigue and courtly power, while the heir to the throne, Prince Edward VI, is cast down to the mercy of blaggards and thieves.
The Snowman – Peacock Theatre – November 28, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
Based on Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, the show has become a modern classic, delighting children with its enchanting mix of storytelling, spectacle and magic.
Read our review of the 2007 production
The Tempest/A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Lion and Unicorn Theatre – December 11, 2012 to January 5, 2013.
This Christmas, the Lion and Unicorn Theatre is presenting these two well-loved Shakespeare plays in repertoire.
Tom’s Midnight Garden – Bloomsbury Theatre – December 12, 2012 to January 19, 2013.
Is it possible to travel back in time? Tom has always believed it cannot be done, but when the grandfather clock in the hallway chimes thirteen times, Tom is transported to a secret garden from the past.
War Horse – New London Theatre – booking until October 26, 2013.
Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse is the story of Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse who, at the outbreak of World War One, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France.
The production, which uses life-size puppets to portray horses and other selected characters (the goose, for example), won the 2007 Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for Rae Smith and the Handspring Puppet Company’s set design.
Read our review