Festive Fun: London’s best pantos and Christmas shows

From hilarious pantos to stage shows and immersive theatre, here are the best Christmas shows and pantomimes in London this festive season 2023. 

1 Home Alone in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington 

Renowned composer John William’s gives the classic holiday flick a reworking with his score performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus. Music is performed live to the film which tells the story of a boy who defends his home thieves. 

When: December 2-3

Tickets: From £20.50

Address: Kensington Gore SW7 2AP

Website: royalalberthall.com

2 Peter Pan at The London Palladium, City 

While all pantos are a camp riot, this one is a particularly camp, camp riot. Starring comedy legend Jennifer Saunders as Captain Hook and Julian Clary, alongside Nigel Havers, this retelling of a classic tale is sure to be a rollicking adventure. 

Dates: December 19 – January 14, 2024

Tickets: From £35

Address: 8 Argyll Street, W1F 7TF 

Website: lwtheatres.co.uk

3 The Snowman, Sadler’s Wells – Peacock Theatre, West End 

Birmingham Rep perform this Christmassy tale filled with snow-people, penguins, princesses, Father Christmas and the fiendish Jack Frost. Expect dancing fruit and an overload of cuteness. 

When: November 18 – December 30

Tickets: From £18

Address: Portugal Street, Holborn WC2A 2HT

Website: sadlerswells.com 

4 Cinderella at Theatre Royal Stratford East 

Once again Stratford East takes a classic story and flips it for its annual pantomime. The team have taken the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, set in Splatford. Hero Jack must save the day from Gian Belch who steal’s Splatford’s precious mud, charges outrageous rents and pollutes the air with his burps and farts. How will Jack, an ordinary boy, do it?  

When: November 18 – January 6, 2024

Tickets: From £10 

Address: Gerry Raffles Square, E15 1BN 

Website: stratfordeast.com 

5 A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic, The Cut 

This uplifting Charles Dickens’ classic is adapted for the stage by BAFTA-winning Jack Thorne returns to charm everyone into the Christmas spirit. Christopher Eccleston (Accused, The Leftovers) stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. 

When: November 11 – January 6, 2024

Tickets: From £13 

Address: The Cut, SE1 8NB 

Website: oldvictheatre.com 

6 Aladdin at Hackney Empire 

Always one of the best pantos around, and always served with subversive Hackney flavour, this year’s Aladdin stars Olivier award-winner and one of the great dames of panto Clive Rowe as Widow Twankey. Expect east London references galore, and joyous song and dance ditties. 

When: November 18 – December 31 

Tickets: From £10 

Address: 291 Mare Street, E8 1EJ 

Website: hackneyempire.co.uk 

7 A Christmas Gaiety at the Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington 

A one-off camp, drag extravaganza and variety show hosted by Peaches Christ and conductor Edwin Outwater, created in collaboration with Clapham Grand. It features Ru Paul girls and popular drag acts such as Le Gateau Chocolat and music by the BBC Concert Orchestra. 

When: December 12

Tickets: From £20

Address: Kensington Gore SW7 2AP

Website: royalalberthall.com

8 Cinderella, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre 

Cinderella owns a business at Shepherd’s Bush Market. She’s totally boss, and Prince Henry, who sneaks out to the market in disguise falls in love with her immediately.  Young love blooms and is thwarted by the paparazzi and Cinderella’s step sisters and mother, but can anything really stop love in its tracks? 

When: November 18 – January 6, 2024

Tickets: From £10 

Address: Lyric Square, King Street, W6 0QL 

Website: lyric.co.uk 

9 Hansel and Gretel at The Globe, South Bank 

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage breathes new life into an elaborate version of The Brothers Grimm’s classic fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. This version is set in a war-torn village and starts when the sibling’s woodcutting father and breadmaking mother decide the best chance their children have of surviving is to take them into the woods and leave them there. 

When: December 8 – January 7, 2024 

Tickets: From £20; standing tickets from £5 

Address: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside SE1 9DT 

Website: shakespearesglobe.com 

10 Elf at Dominion Theatre, West End 

Based on the 2003 Will Ferrell film, Elf the Musical is the story of Buddy, a human child who crawls into Santa’s sack as a baby and is brought up in the North Pole as a really big, clumsy elf.  He returns to New York on a quest of self-discovery and to help the city find the true meaning of Christmas.   

When: November 15 – January 6, 2024

Tickets: From £45 

Address: 268-269 Tottenham Court Road W1T 7AQ

Website: elflondon.com 

11 Dick Whittington at Richmond Theatre 

This Christmas Richmond Theatre tell the hilarious rags to riches story, Dick Whittington. With Have I Got News For You’s Paul Merton starring as the show’s Dame and comedian Suki Webster as Suki the Sweet Maker, this one is going to be good, silly, hammy fun.  

When: December 9 – January 7, 2024 

Tickets: From £13 

Address: The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ 

Website: atgtickets.com  

12 Potted Panto, at Wilton’s Music Hall, Shadwell 

One of the West End’s longest running pantos, Olivier Award nominated Potted Panto brings mashes seven pantomimes together in 80 hilarious minutes. So this one has all the beloved heroes and heroines, and all the beloved baddies too. 

When: November 29 – December 30

Tickets: From £12

Address: 1 Graces Alley, Shadwell E1 8JB 

Website: wiltons.org.uk 

13 Christmas Actually, Royal Festival Hall

A variety extravaganza curated by Richard Curtis bringing the laughs and festive cheer. A star-studded cast will deliver live music, performance, comedy and festive stories to raise money for Comic Relief.  

Date: December 7-11

Tickets: £25.50

Address:  Southbank Centre Belvedere Road, South Bank SE1 8XX

Website: southbankcentre.co.uk

14 The Nutcracker at Southbank Centre

Held at Southbank Centre’s brand new venue The Tuff Nutt Jazz Club, this production of Tchaikovsky’s iconic score has been re-imagined by Mercury Price nominated Cassie Kinoshi and performed by a live jazz band on stage. 

Date: October 28 – January 6, 2024

Tickets: from £15

Address: Southbank Centre Belvedere Road, South Bank SE1 8XX

Website: southbankcentre.co.uk

15 The Great Christmas Feast, West Kensington

Travel back to Christmas Eve 1843 and step inside Charles Dicken’s home to let an immersive performance of A Christmas Carol wash over you. The elaborate show is staged in 5,000 feet of new set, and comes with cinematic live music and a three course Victorian meal. 

Dates: November 14 – January 14, 2024

Time: 7.15pm or 1pm matinee

Tickets: £149.50

Address: 9 Beaumont Avenue, West Kensington W14 9LP

Website: christmasfeast.thelostestate.com

16 Disney on Ice, Greenwich

The all-singing, all-skating Disney extravaganza returns to London for a festive family night out. The Christmas season staple will see a host of talent perform world class ice skating routines and dazzling stunts to a mash up medley of all the favourite Disney stories in this ultimate feel-good production that captures the magic of Disney’s immortal tales.

Date: December 21-31

Tickets: From £41

Address: Peninsula Square, Greenwich SE10 0DX

Website: disneyonice.com

17 Wishmas, Waterloo

Wishmas: A Fantastical Christmas Adventure is a new addition to the festive calendar, created by the Secret Cinema team and directed by Elgiva Field, former Associate Director of the trail-blazing and mind-blowing Punchdrunk theatre company. Wishmas is a fully immersive festive experience, suitable for kids and adults. An “alternative to Winter Wonderland”, Wishmas is set in a magical world which takes about 60-minutes to walk through, meeting Wishkeepers, robins, Father Christmas and magical rooms along the way.

Date: November 14 – January 7

Tickets: From £29

Address: The Old Bauble Factory, 1 Launcelot Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD

Website: wishmas.co.uk

18 Peppa Pig Live!, West End

Based on the much-loved animated TV series, Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out! is packed with fun, games and jokes suitable for pre-schoolers. At Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out!, families can join Peppa and her friends and family, as they go to the zoo and the beach for a special party.

Date:  November 30 – December 31

Tickets: From £10

Address: Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street SW1Y 4HT

Website: trh.co.uk

Richmond and Twickenham Times | Theatre