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Christmas in the West End

Shows, panto, ballet, musicals, even a bit of puppetry ...check out our pick of the West End this holiday season

It’s Chriiiiiiiiistmas! Oh, yes, and that means the same old re-runs of pantos, boring ballets and turgid productions of kids’ books. Oh no, not this year – check this out, Mudsters! We’ve talked to the stars, wined and dined the producers and chatted to the impresarios and come up with this tip-top list of the best really cool shows to hit the West End this Xmas.


War Horse, National Theatre, to 5 Jan

Eleven years after its NT debut, and having played in eleven countries to over seven million people, War Horse returns to the National Theatre to mark the centenary of Armistice Day. At the outbreak of World War One, Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Though not yet old enough to enlist, Albert joins the army, and embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. It’s a limited run so make sure you don’t miss out!


Snow White, London Palladium, to 13 January

Yes, it’s panto, but it’s a goodie. Dawn French stars alongside returning London Palladium pantomime royalty Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, joined by Strictly Come Dancing’s Vincent and Flavia. Tickets are going fast – don’t miss out!


A Christmas Carol, Arts Theatre, 8 Dec – 12 Jan

Based on the performances of A Christmas Carol that Charles Dickens himself gave throughout the UK and America, Simon Callow’s one-man show embodies the very heart of this beloved holiday classic.


Awful Auntie, Bloomsbury Theatre, 12 Dec – 6 Jan

From the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of David Walliams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie!


Dick Whittington, Lyric Hammersmith, 17 Nov – 6

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 chucked in for good measure. The Lyric Hammersmith never disappoints when it comes to panto season!


Aladdin, New Wimbledon Theatre

Paul Merton leads the cast in this year’s high-flying pantomime as Widow Twankey, joined by Magician Pete Firman who will be on hand to spread a little magic over SW19 and help Aladdin overcome the evil Abanazar. Packed with all the traditional pantomime ingredients audiences expect, Aladdin features laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.


Nativity! The Musical, Eventim Apollo, 19-31 Dec

Photo Credit: The Other Richard

Feel-good, funny and full of festive joy, this smash-hit musical was adapted for the stage by Debbie Isitt, the creator of the much-loved films. Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity, and at St Bernadette’s School they’re attempting to mount a musical version. The only trouble is teacher Mr Maddens has promised that a Hollywood producer is coming to see the show…


Stick Man, Leicester Square Theatre, to 6 Jan

What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree?


The Nutcracker, London Coliseum, 13-30 Dec

On a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London, Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker doll discover a magical world, where she battles with the Mouse King and meets a handsome stranger. As the air grows colder, Clara and her valiant Nutcracker take a hot air balloon ride across London to the glistening Land of Snow where her adventure really begins.


Room on the Broom Live, Lyric Theatre, 23 Nov – 13 Jan

Join the witch and her cat on their mission to defeat the dragon in Tall Stories magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Enjoy songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged three and up in the Olivier Award nominated show.


A Christmas Carol, Museum of London, to 28 Dec

Join Scrooge on his ghostly journey into his past, present and possible future. Laugh and cry as he regrets his greed, and changes his attitude to the hard working Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.


A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, 27 Nov – 19 Jan

Follow the adventures of the wicked Ebenezer Scrooge as four ghosts transport him to the past, present and future during a life-changing night-time visit. Will the 4 ghosts manage to make him change his ways? Don’t miss this immersive production and get in the Christmas spirit with this classic seasonal tale.


Rumplestiltskin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 13 Dec – 6 Jan

In this groundbreaking theatrical spectacle that is anything but traditional, wonder at the visually stunning costumes, hyper-modern set and larger-than-life characters and delve into a fantastical world, fizzing with fun and laughs.


The Snowman, Peacock Theatre, 22 Nov – 6 Jan

This enchanting stage show of Raymond Briggs’ classic book tells the story of a boy and his magical snowman’s wintery wonderland adventure. As a friendship is kindled, the two embark on a starry-skied journey to the North Pole, where they meet dancing penguins, Ice Princess, Father Christmas and escape the clutches of Jack Frost.


The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, 3 Dec – 15 Jan

A Christmas treat for the whole family and a classic with a special place in the hearts of ballet fans around the world.


Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Sadler’s Wells, 4 Nov – 27 Jan

Swan Lake returns with a fresh look for the 21st century. Retaining the iconic elements of the original, Matthew Bourneand award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (set and costumes) and Paule Constable (lighting) will create an exciting re-imagining of the classic production.


Disney on Ice Dream Big, The O2 Arena, 26 Dec – 6 Jan

Courage leads the way, cutting the icy stage for Disney’s most adventurous dreamers at Disney On Ice presents Dream Big. High-flying jumps, breath-taking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget.


Matilda The Musical, Cambridge Theatre, throughout Nov and Dec

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.


42nd Street, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, throughout Nov and Dec

Young Peggy Sawyer is fresh off the bus from small-town America and just another face in the chorus line on Broadway’s newest show. But when the leading lady gets injured, Peggy might just have the shot at stardom she’s always dreamed of.


Wicked, Apollo Theatre, throughout Nov and Dec

Winner of 90 international awards, Wicked has been casting its magical spell over audiences of all ages across the world since 2003 and continues to be a record-breaking hit at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is has become the 13th longest-running show in West End history.


The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre, throughout Nov and Dec

A priceless diamond has been entrusted to the city bank, but in a town where everyone’s a crook and even security guards can’t be trusted, what could possibly go wrong? Delivering swag loads of laughter, Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Brothers in this dynamite new comedy.


School of Rock, New London Theatre, throughout Nov and Dec

Based on the iconic hit movie, this irresistible musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out?


Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre, throughout Nov and Dec

ALADDIN, , Director and Choreographer – Casey Nicholaw, Scenic Design – Bob Crowley, Costume Design – Gregg Barnes, Lighting – Natasha Katz, Prince Edward Theatre, London, 2017, Credit: Johan Persson/

Breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bring the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on the West End stage. Featuring all the songs from the classic Academy Award®-winning film including ‘Friend Like Me’, ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Arabian Nights’, prepare to experience the unmissable ‘theatrical magic’ (Daily Telegraph) that is Aladdin.


The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre,throughout Nov and Dec

Disney’s musical phenomenon The Lion King continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Combining dazzling staging and highly imaginative costumes, masks and puppets, this astonishing show at the Lyceum Theatre uses breathtaking theatrical magic to tell the story of Simba – join him now in his epic journey to reclaim his kingdom.


The King and I, London Palladium, throughout Nov and Dec

London’s theatrical event of 2018, the multi-award winning and critically acclaimed Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I rocks up at London’s iconic Palladium.


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