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Off West End Christmas Shows 2018

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 of Off West End productions. And while some are suitable for little people, others are for adults only.

A Christmas Carol – Chickenshed – November 21 to January 5.

Join Chickenshed for a magical and brilliantly uplifting retelling of the unforgettable story of Ebenezer Scrooge, that “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner”. Follow his spooky encounters over the course of one incredible night and his journey ultimately to become the friendly, charitable man who “knew how to keep Christmas well”. Read more.

A Christmas Story, The Musical – Waterloo East Theatre – November 28 to December 22.

With book by Joseph Robinette and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, A Christmas Story, The Musical is based on the movie classic that runs round-the-clock on US television every Christmas.

Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, it follows young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the Christmas gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Rebuffed at every turn, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun. Read more.

Aladdin – New Wimbledon Theatre – December 8 to January 6.

Paul Merton leads the cast as Widow Twankey. He is joined by Lee Ryan as Aladdin and Magician Pete Firman who will be on hand to spread a little magic over SW19 and help Aladdin overcome the evil Abanazar. www.atgtickets.com/shows/aladdin/new-wimbledon-theatre/.

Baa Humbug – Blue Elephant Theatre – December 8 to December 15.

Join a rambunctious group of farm animals on Christmas Eve as they celebrate the holiday season. The only problem is Humbug the Sheep thinks it’s a waste of time to have friends and play their silly games. But is Humbug really happy all alone? www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/.

Burke and Hare – Jermyn Street Theatre – November 28 to December 21.

It’s 1828. In the dank, mist shrouded streets of Edinburgh two enterprising men go about their business. Their goal is to make money by whatever means necessary. William Burke and William Hare are about to hit upon the perfect scheme. The first rule of commerce? Supply and demand. Read more.

Buttons: A Cinderella Story – King’s Head Theatre – November 23 to January 5.

Charles Court Opera’s 12th boutique pantomime takes Cinderella, one of the best-loved fairytales of all time, and turns it on its pretty little head. The cast includes John Savournin as a ludicrously tall Dame and Matthew Kellett as the loveable Buttons. Read more.

Cinderella: A Fairytale – Jack Studio Theatre – December 12 to January 5.

Described as a thrilling and imaginative retelling of the Brothers Grimm version of the story, Cinderella: A Fairytale is produced by the team behind the Offie nominated and five star productions of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Lifeboat and Kes. Read more.

Cinderella and the Beanstalk – Theatre503 – December 5 to January 5.

Written by acclaimed comedy trio The Sleeping Trees, Cinderella and the Beanstalk is an hilarious mega-mix pantomime medley featuring over 60 fairytale characters from more than a dozen favourite stories colliding in unexpected ways. Read more.

Dick Whittington – Lyric Hammersmith – November 17 to January 6.

Written by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd and directed by Jude Christian, the Lyric’s 10th anniversary pantomime will be getting the full Lyric treatment so audiences can expect the usual mix of live music, crazy characters, awesome adventure, singing, dancing, villainous baddies and heroic goodies with a little bit of feline flavour thrown in for good measure. Read more.

Hansel and Gretel – Rose Theatre, Kingston – December 6 to January 6.

Rosie Jones directs this new festive version of the Brothers Grimm’s much-loved fairy tale written by Ciaran McConville and with music and lyrics by Eamonn O’Dwyer. www.rosetheatrekingston.org/whats-on/hansel-gretel.

Once Upon A Mattress – The Playground Theatre – December 18 to January 19.

A modern-day family musical retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, Once Upon A Mattress is the story of Winnifred, better known as Fred, who is not your average princess – she’s loud, independent and knows her own mind. But for her to marry Prince Dauntless, she must prove to his overprotective mother, Queen Aggravain, that she is indeed a true princess in an impossible test. Read more.

Peter Pan – Richmond Theatre – December 8 to January 6.

Join Peter Pan as he transports the Darlings on an adventure they will never forget, filled with evil pirates, a very hungry crocodile and the meanest man in Neverland, Captain Hook played by BAFTA, Tony Award and two-time Olivier Award-winner Robert Lindsay in his first pantomime debut. www.atgtickets.com/shows/peter-pan/richmond-theatre/.

Pinocchio – The Albany – December 2 to December 29.

Jaw dropping circus, hilarious puppets, and a magical set and soundtrack combine in this new look at a well-known story. Pinocchio is full of the type of fun, mischief and magic that normally only happens when grown-ups turn their backs for a second. Selected performances are relaxed, audio described, and are BSL interpreted. www.thealbany.org.uk/shows/pinocchio/.

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas – Lyric Hammersmith – November 21 to December 30. Suitable for under 6s.

Join Santa as he awakes from a dream of sun, sea and sand only to find it is the busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. lyric.co.uk/shows/father-christmas.

Return to Elm House – Battersea Arts Centre – December 1 to December 30.

A long time ago, on the very spot where Battersea Arts Centre now stands, a brave woman lived in Elm House. As the years ticked by, her inspiring story was long forgotten. Until now…

An immersive and thrilling quest for everyone aged 6+, Return to Elm House features magical trails, ingenious installations and original music, and rediscovers a long lost past based on the fascinating story of Jeanie Nassau Senior, a social pioneer and Britain’s first female civil servant. www.bac.org.uk/.

Robinson Crusoe – Greenwich Theatre – November 23 to January 13.

Starring panto favourite Andrew Pollard, Robinson Crusoe is an action-packed adventure awash with pirates, romance, exotic creatures and songs-a-plenty! Hit the high seas with Robinson as he battles the wicked Pirate Queen to find the lost gold. www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/events/robinson-crusoe.

Seussical – Southwark Playhouse – November 22 to December 29.

Join the mischievous Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, and a host of other much-loved characters on a magical, madcap adventure from the Jungle of Nool, to the Circus McGurkus, to the tiniest planet in the sky, Whoville. southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/seussical/.

Stig of the Dump – Tabard Theatre – November 28 to January 6.

Richard Williams’ adaptation of Clive King’s literary classic was first performed at the West York Playhouse and also enjoyed a successful run at the Tabard Theatre in 2008. tabardtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/stig-of-the-dump/.

Striking 12 – Union Theatre – November 28 to December 23.

The UK première of this acclaimed Off-Broadway musical inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s short story, The Little Match Girl, springs to life with a punchy score of pop, rock, jazz and more. www.uniontheatre.biz/striking-12.

The Box of Delights – Wilton’s Music Hall – November 30 to January 5.

This action-packed festive tale is based on the 1935 novel by Poet Laureate John Masefield and returns to the east London music hall after its critically-acclaimed and sold out world premiere last year. Read more.

The Messiah – The Other Palace – December 3 to January 5.

Hugh Dennis, Lesley Garrett and John Marquez play a cast of thousands in this new comedy by Patrick Barlow, the writer of the Olivier Award-winning West End hit The 39 Steps. Read more l Production images.

The Night Before Christmas – Southwark Playhouse – November 28 to December 29. Suitable for ages 14+.

Anthony Neilson’s anarchic, anti-festive black comedy is described as an hilarious and razor-edged comedy about finding the true spirit of Christmas; an un-merry extravaganza jam-packed with drugs, debauchery and dirty jokes, all rolled in glitter. Read more.

West End Christmas Shows