If you’re planning a festive winter break with the whole family, give the kids an early Christmas present that they’ll love and book some tickets to a pantomime. These all-singing, slapstick performances are a timeless Christmas tradition for the Brits.
We’ve rounded up the best pantos in London this Christmas, which will give you the perfect family night out during your stay at the Park Grand Hotel Paddington. Oh yes, they will!
1) Goldilocks and the Three Bears
London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, Westminster W1F 7TF
7th Dec 2019 to 12th Jan 2020
If you’re looking for a star-studded line-up, Goldilocks and the Three Bears is the panto for you. Big names from TV include Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and The One Show’s Matt Baker. Stage actress Sophie Isaacs is set to play Goldilocks. This glitzy extravaganza is packed with raucous comedy routines, the silliest jokes, hair-raising stunts and international circus acts. Expect to be mesmerised by illusionist Paul Hitchcock, have your breath taken away by high-speed rollerskating act The Skating Medini and cling to your seat as Europe’s youngest stunt rider Peter Pavlov shows off his moves.
2) The Nativity Panto: A Not-So Silent Night
King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington N1 1QN
29th Nov 2019 to 11th Jan 2020
‘Boutique’ panto producers Charles Court Opera make their 13th appearance on the London stage this season, and it’s set to be their most gleeful yet! Known for their versatile approach to theatre, the team have splashed a helping of magic over the original festive tale with musical numbers you’ll want to jiggle along to and puns to make you roar. Families can enjoy the 3pm matinees, whereas adults can opt to go to the over 16’s showings at 7pm. Turn date night on its head by sharing a pre-theatre meal at The Grand Restaurant before settling down for this alternative West End show.
3) Potted Panto
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, Southwark SE1 6BD
1st Dec 2019 to 11th Jan 2020
If you can’t decide which panto to see during your London stay, Potted Panto might be the solution for you; this unique production squeezes seven panto classics into one 80 minute performance! This two-man show sees Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner as the dastardly double act, who dash from rubbing Aladdin’s lamp to roaming the golden streets of Dick Whittington’s London and making sure that Cinderella makes it to the ball in time. Expect some frenzied costume changes and truly terrible jokes throughout. Double Olivier nominees Clarkson and Turner will leave you crying with laughter.
4) Dick Whittington and his Cat
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, Hackney E8 1EJ
23rd Nov 2019 to 5th Jan 2020
Travel to the tropical climes of Jamaica, where young Dick Whittington is boarding a ship bound for London. Whittington dreams of a new life and is utterly oblivious to the magic that awaits him and his enchanted feline friend as they journey far across the ocean… To make it to London he must fight rodent royalty and win the heart of his one true love – all whilst trying to find fame and fortune. The cast includes Grande Dame Olivier Award-winner Clive Rowe who makes his 13th pantomime appearance, starring as Sarah the Cook. Whittington is played by Tarinn Callender who you might recognise from the original London cast of the Broadway hit, Hamilton. The rest of the cast includes theatrical greats who have graced the West End countess times and toured internationally.
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith W6 0QL
16th Nov 2019 to 5th Jan 2020
Polish your glass slippers, dust off your carriage and join the Fairy Godmother of pantomimes, Cinderella. The Lyric Hammersmith is known for putting on quality pantomime which adds a twist to the classic fairytales. Played by Timmika Ramsay, Cinderella is a stargazing scientist who only wants to attend the royal ball so that she can observe the night sky from outside her light-polluted city. Her sidekick, Buttons, comes to her rescue when her invite is rebuffed with the plan to have a night in with popcorn and Strictly instead. Meanwhile Bob the Prince (played by Gabriel Fleary) is a lovable, loafing charmer who finds it difficult to make friends and is intimidated by his mum’s fancy parties. Expect plenty of pumpkins, friendly mice, ugly stepsisters and heartwarming twists, but rest assured you’ll be back in your accommodation in Paddington before the clock chimes midnight.
6) Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace Way, Muswell Hill N22 7AY
13th Dec 2019 to 5th Jan 2020
Following their multi-award-winning success with The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Mischief Theatre return with their riotous spin on a timeless childhood classic. Peter Pan Goes Wrong has become a West End smash hit and a global phenomenon which is currently performing across 35 countries. This season it returns for a limited run in London. Although not technically a pantomime, this is a farcical misadventure which has plenty of gags to make the whole family chuckle whilst also capturing the essence of J. M. Barrie’s melancholic story about the boy who never grew up. Watch as the boisterous crew battle technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes. Will the crew make it to Neverland before you’re back in your bed at the Park Grand Hotel Paddington?
7) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Richmond Theatre, Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ
7th Dec 2019 to 5th Jan 2020
Comedian Jo Brand takes to the stage as the ultimate baddie – Snow White’s Evil Queen. Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients, expect a magical mirror, seven friendly dwarfs, a beautiful princess, a handsome prince and plenty of audience participation as the beautiful Snow White tries to outwit the Wicked Queen and let love prevail. A glittering festive treat for all ages.