A Christmas Carol has to be on most people's feel good Christmas show lists. This year London is spoilt for choice, there are at least three versions that we know about.
The Old Vic is putting on its annual version, now in it's 6th year; the cast changes but the staging is the same each year. It's a lovely production and if you haven't seen it before, it's certainly going to warm the cockles of your heart. Our review from 2021 and previous years is here.
When: 12th November to 7th January
Running Time: Approximately two hours and five minutes plus a 20 minute interval
Suitability: for ages 8+
Tickets: PwC £10 previews (max. four per person), £12, £20, £30/£35, £40/£45, £55/£57.50, £65/£67.50. Premium and Old Vic Plus tickets available.
Address: The Old Vic, The Cut, London SE1 8NB
Telephone: 0344 871 7628
For location alone, we are really excited to be seeing the musical production of A Christmas Carol in the spectacular Tudor setting of Middle Temple Hall, a location well known to Dickens himself, as this is where he studied law. This is going to be an incredibly atmospheric production from award winning Antic Disposition, involving a journey through cobbled alleyways and gas-lit courtyards to arrive at the hidden historical gem of Middle Temple Hall. We are promised that it will be decked with boughs of holly, filled with the scent of mulled wine and mince pies and brimming with festive cheer, enter the magnificent wood-panelled hall and immerse yourself in this joyous adaptation of the beloved Christmas classic.
Bar Humbug (where else!), serving mulled wine, mince pies and other festive fare, will open one hour before each performance. Bar Humbug will remain open until 11pm after each evening performance
Address: Middle Temple Lane, London, EC4Y 9AT
When: from Tuesday 20 to Thursday 29 December 2022.
Daily at 3pm and 7.30pm
7.30pm only on 20 Dec
11am and 3pm on 24 Dec
No performances on 25/26 Dec
Suitability: age 6+
Running time: 2 hours including one interval
Tickets: £45/£55 (£30/£40 for under 18s)
Box Office: www.achristmascarol.co.uk
Tel: 0333 666 3366
For something rather different, we're looking forward to seeing A Sherlock Carol.
It's been three Christmases since the famous confrontation with his nemesis Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, and Sherlock Holmes has lost his appetite for mince pies or for solving crime. As he wanders through Victorian London, he meets a grown-up and not-so-Tiny Tim who beseeches him to investigate the mysterious death of his reformed benefactor, one Ebenezer Scrooge.
The mystery unfolds; a seemingly impossible murder, a threatening letter, and a missing diamond - it’s just enough to intrigue the great Holmes. But it’s a dark and treacherous Christmas Eve, and once again the night is haunted by the spirits of the past, present, and future. Using his powers of deduction, can Holmes overcome his own ghosts to crack the case?
The worlds of Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle combine on stage in this ‘instant holiday classic’, coming to London for the first time, just a stone’s throw from Holmes’ fictional base at 221B Baker Street itself.
Address: Marylebone Theatre, Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London, NW1 6XT
When: 18 November - 17 January.
Suitability: age 10+
Performances: Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday & Saturday at 2.30pm
Thursday 8 Dec, Friday 9 Dec, Tuesday 13 Dec, Thursday 15, 1 show only at 2.00pm
Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve 1.00pm & 5.00pm
Prices: from £10
Box office: www.asherlockcarol.co.uk
The Fairfield Halls is local to us, and if you're looking for a traditional family-friendly panto then local is always best. If you're not too sure what pantomine is all about, please see our review of last year's offering.
This year the panto is going to be 'The Further Adventures of Peter Pan - The Return of Captain Hook'. The cast is headed up by EastEnders bad boy Ricky Champ as ‘Captain Hook’ and Gemma Hunt as ‘Tinker Bell’, they are joined by CBBC and Crackerjack’s Mark Rhodes as ‘Smee’ and Channel 5 Milkshake! presenter David Ribi as ‘Peter Pan’. Also joining the company are Ohanna Greaves as ‘Emily Darling’ and Emma Jay Thomas as ‘Mrs Darling’.
We are promised a fabulous festive production with guaranteed fun, laughs and adventure! With galleons of entertainment, fantastic flying effects, an acrobatic pirate crew, and possibly the hungriest crocodile you’ll ever see, join the adventure this festive season.
Tickets and group bookings are available from bhlivetickets.co.uk with special early bird rates and super schools offers also available.
Suitability: Family friendly
When: the 10th to 31st December.
Address: Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG
Price: £15 to £35
If you want the whole pantomime experience in one fell swoop, Potted Panto is for you. How many pantos can be performed in just 70 minutes by Daniel Clarkson, Jefferson Turner (also former CBBC TV presenters) and Richard Hurst? It seems that the answer is a lot! We are promised a madcap ride through the biggest stories and best-loved characters from the wonderful world of pantomime.
We will see this dastardly double act dash between rubbing Aladdin’s lamp to roaming the golden streets of Dick Whittington’s London and making sure that Cinderella gets to the Ball. Snow White and Seven Dwarfs is a challenge for the two- hander, and which will be the prettiest to play Sleeping Beauty?
This promises to be very funny and a 70 minute long riot of silliness.
Address: Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EZ
Box office: 0330 333 4809
Suitability: Age recommendation 6+
When: Saturday 17 December, 2022 to Sunday 8 January, 2023
Saturday 17 Dec 11am
Sunday 18 Dec 11am
Monday 19 Dec 3pm & 7pm
Tuesday 20 Dec 11am & 3pm
Thursday 22 Dec 11am & 3pm
Friday 23 Dec 11am & 3pm
Saturday 24 Dec 11am & 3pm
Tuesday 27 Dec 11am & 3pm
Wednesday 28 Dec 11am & 3pm
Thursday 29 Dec 11am & 3pm
Saturday 31 Dec 11am
Sunday 1 Jan 3pm & 7pm
Monday 2 Jan 3pm & 7pm
Friday 6 Jan 3pm
Saturday 7 Jan 11am
Sunday 8 Jan 11am
Duration: 70 minutes no interval
Price: £20 - £35. There will be 200 tickets for £20 at every performance
Sinderfella' promises to be a smutty, risqué, funny adult only panto. The actress scheduled to play Cinderella for the night hasn't turned up so it's left to the Fairy Godmother to conjure up a plan. Loitering around the auditorium (by coincidence) is drag Queen Luna Cortez who has always dreamed of playing her the fairy tale role Cinderella and is gagging for the chance to step in. Hilarity ensues as Sinderfella works her magic, ensnaring both her Prince Charming and Buttons (neither of whom realise until the climax that their Cinderella really is a bloke in a frock!)
With characters such as 'Prince Donkey Dick Of Soho' you know that this is going to be near-the-knuckle humour, full of campery and the most sparkly of sparkling costumes.
We are promised a pop powered pantomime featuring feel good party anthems such as Never Going To Give You Up, It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Dancing Queen, Like A Virgin, and Time Of My Life.
With a whole load of audience participation this sounds like the perfect way to kick start Christmas!
When: 9th to 2nd December
Address: The Prince of Wales Pub, 150 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5TD
Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes including interval
Drag Christmas Show
Southwark Playhouse are bringing 'Who's Holiday' to London from it's off-Broadway critically acclaimed run in 2017. We all know the story of 'The Grinch who Stole Christmas', and cute Cindy Lou Who. But what's happened since she grew up? 'Who's Holiday' will see Cindy Lou, played by Drag Race icon Miz Cracker, remembering what happened that Christmas Eve when she met the Grinch and the strange twists and turns in her life ever since. Brought to us by Tuckshop, this adult only show promises to be fresh and funny.
You saw her last when she was just two Celebrate the holidays with Cindy Lou Who Pull up a seat and fill up your cup ‘Cause your favourite little Who is all grown up
When: the 7th December to 7th January
Address: Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
Running Time: 70 mins
Price: £28 | £22.50 concessions | All previews £16