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Christmas pantomimes in London

It wouldn't be Christmas without a pantomime. Oh no it wouldn't...

Where's the best pantomime in London this Christmas? It's behind you! Sorry, no, it isn't. It's in the panto list below. We've gathered the brightest, brashest pantos coming to the capital this winter, so take your pick from the grown-up silliness and childish fun featuring comedians, celebrities and hairy-legged dames.

This page will be updated as more events are confirmed.

RECOMMENDED: Find more Christmas shows in London 

Pantomimes in east London

Mother Goose

The honktastic fairy story 'Mother Goose' is one of the less-staged pantos out there, perhaps because of its sprawling plot that's stuffed with a motley bunch of nursery rhyme characters. But Hackney's spectacular take on the story in 2014 showed how delightful it can be when it's done well. Wilton's Musical Hall's 'Mother Goose' will be adapted by Roy Hudd, whose delightfully whimsical 'Dick Whittington' scooped up plenty of deserved praise last year. Hudd is a veteran comedian and music hall fan, so expect some truly vintage smut and silliness.

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Wilton's Music Hall , Wapping Friday December 2 2016 - Saturday December 31 2016

Red Riding Hood

Tucked-away gem Hoxton Hall is a newly refurbished Victorian musical hall, and it's throwing open its doors this Christmas for a traditional panto spectacular. Its take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' features a brand new, song-filled script. And although Hoxton Hall's offering doesn't have the tried-and-true credentials of some of London's other panto stalwarts, the cosy venue should have more than enough charm and atmosphere to delight the whole family.

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Hoxton Hall , Hoxton Saturday December 17 2016 - Saturday December 24 2016


Barking's Broadway is looking (even further) East this Christmas with a panto story of Aladdin's magical carpet ride. This traditional family trip features all the usual silliness, fiendish baddies, and song and dance - courtesy of a chorus of local kids. 

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Broadway Theatre , Catford Saturday December 3 2016 - Saturday January 7 2017

Sleeping Beauty

With heaps of zany energy, lurid costumes, a chortle-worthy dame (in previous years Clive Rowe has done them proud) and budget East End prices, Hackney's panto is typically one of the best out there. This year, panto-writing dream team Susie McKenna and Steve Edis are spinning the yarn of Princess Aurora, who pricks her finger on a spindle and sends everyone into an enchanted slumber. Fear not, kids and adults are likely to stay wide awake for this festive treat, though - if past form is anything to go by, you can expect heaps of high-energy dance routines, fresh comedy, and plenty of surreal touches.

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Hackney Empire , Hackney Saturday November 26 2016 - Sunday January 8 2017

Sinbad the Sailor

Theatre Royal Stratford East's panto offers genuinely kid-friendly silliness and original songs with a less commercial feel than its glittery, celeb-filled rivals. This year, Paul Sirett will adapt 'Sinbad The Sailor', a story of deep sea derring do that'll be helmd by the theatre's artistic director Kerry Michael. The crew will journey to magical lands and mysterious places, in a story that's inspired by one of the tales from the 'Arabian Nights'.

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Theatre Royal Stratford East , Stratford Saturday December 3 2016 - Saturday January 21 2017

Pantomimes in west London

Sleeping Beauty

Richmond's typically slick panto usually involves fiendishly full-on production values and a cast member likely to be loved by its well-heeled West London demographic. This year, 'Educating Rita' actor Maureen Lipman will return to Richmond's panto in villainous form, as adversary of the somnolent star of 'Sleeping Beauty. She'll join a cast that also includes the more kid-friendly talents of CBeebies performer Chris Jarvis. 

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Richmond Theatre , Richmond Friday December 2 2016 - Sunday January 8 2017


The Lyric Hammersmith tends to produce a smarter, gentler breed of panto, thanks in part to their knack for coaxing up-and-coming young writers to write the scripts. Last year, Tom Wells lent his hand to a gorgeously silly retelling of 'Cinderella'. This year, Joel Horwood will do the honours with 'Aladdin' - after the success of his adaptation of kids' story 'I Want My Hat Back' at the National Theatre last year. This panto promises live music and plenty of jokes, in service of the story of a boy who meets a magic genie and sets off on a magic carpet ride to find his princess.

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Lyric Hammersmith , Hammersmith Saturday November 19 2016 - Saturday January 7 2017

Pantomimes in south London

Dick Whittington

Famed as the loudest, brashest, glitziest panto out there, New Wimbledon's festive spectacular for this year is a retelling of 'Dick Whittington'. It's a fitting approach for the story of a boy and his cat who hope the streets of London are paved with gold. If previous years are anything to go by, it should offer lashings of high budget spectacle, sparkly scenery, and ear-splittingly loud pop song routines. Seasoned dame Matthew Kelly will wig up once again to play the part of Susan the cook in this story of the country boy-made-good. Other casting tba.  

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New Wimbledon Theatre , Wimbledon Friday December 9 2016 - Sunday January 15 2017

Bollywood Jack

Tara Theatre celebrates its first Christmas in its new home with a Bollywood spectacular of a panto. It's a welcome sequel to their hits 'Bollywood Cinderella' and 'Dick Whittington Goes to Bollywood', mixing Eastern style and sparkle with all the traditional silliness, including a panto dame. Farrukh Dhondy's script is a retelling of the story of 'Jack and the Beanstalk', inspired by Kipling's poetry as well as high-budget Indian glamour. 

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Tara Theatre , Earlsfield Wednesday December 7 2016 - Saturday January 7 2017

Scrooge and the Seven Dwarfs

Nope, that's not a typo of Dickensian proportions: this alternative family panto is a very silly mash-up of two seasonal favourites. Comedy trio Sleeping Trees will play all the parts in their pared-down pantomime adventure. It explores what happens when the Ghost of Christmas Past accidentally takes Scrooge a little too far back in time, to the era of magic, fairytales and hordes of joyfully co-habiting dwarves.

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Theatre 503 , Battersea Tuesday November 22 2016 - Saturday January 7 2017

Peter Pan

Greenwich Theatre scooped up some strong reviews for its 'Red Riding Hood' last year. They're sprinkling the panto magic on the story of 'Peter Pan' for 2016, in a new story written by Andrew Pollard.

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Greenwich Theatre , Greenwich Friday November 18 2016 - Sunday January 8 2017

Pantomimes in north London


After last year's 'Cinderella', Millfield Theatre is swinging into action to regale North London with the story of big dreaming lamp-rubber Aladdin. This traditional panto features all the stock characters: Widow Twanky, Wishee Washee, and of course Princess Jasmine. And it'll star Enfield regulars Alex Scott Fairley and Philip Day, as well as a lively all-singing, all-dancing chorus.

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Millfield Arts Centre , London Thursday November 24 2016 - Saturday December 31 2016


Who said pantos need to be big to be beautiful? Charles Court Opera's 10th 'boutique' pantomime is a pared down retelling of the little boy who's carved from wood. It'll be built on a pub theatre-ready scale, in a puppet-filled festive family treat.

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King's Head Theatre , Barnsbury Thursday December 1 2016 - Saturday January 7 2017

Pantomimes in central London


The first pantomime to grace the stage of the London Palladium in nearly 30 years, this lavish-looking telling of rags-to-riches classic 'Cinderella' certainly comes with an interesting cast. Paul O’Grady as the Wicked Stepmother, Amanda Holden as the Fairy Godmother, Julian Clary as Dandini, 'Any Dream Will Do' winner Lee Mead as Prince Charming, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin as Buttons, Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain and Count Arthur Strong as Baron Hardup; the ensemble has definitely got the air of a variety show line-up to it, which is probably all to the good on the storied Palladium stage.

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London Palladium , Soho Friday December 9 2016 - Sunday January 15 2017

Potted Panto

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner caper through a host of favourite panto plots in this two-man comedy show. What they lack in lavish costumes, they make up for in lashings of innuendoes, in a very silly helping of festive jollity.

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Garrick Theatre , Covent Garden Saturday December 10 2016 - Sunday January 8 2017

Adult pantomimes

Charming Dick

Historic LGBT venue the Royal Vauxhall Tavern's ribald panto is getting a second run at the Cockpit for Christmas 2016. It's a bawdy take on the tale of Dick Whittington, featuring a faded Dame Twankey, a Eurovision wannabe, a charming prince, and of course little Dick himself. Expect alternative comedy with plenty of blush-worthy laughs.

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Cockpit Theatre , Lisson Grove Tuesday December 6 2016 - Friday December 23 2016

The Adventures Of Dick!

For the fifth year running, Stuart Saint unleashes a bawdy adult panto that's all about Dick's adventures. Dick Whittington and his pussy Dave are frolicking in S'Hoho when they realised that the evil Queen Runt is racketing up the rents in a bid to take over London. Drag queen Dusty O will lead the fun, in an alternative Christmas panto that's fast-paced as it is filthy.

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Leicester Square Theatre , Leicester Square Tuesday December 13 2016 - Thursday December 22 2016

Beauty on the Piste

Gay theatre Above the Stag is unleashing a snowstorm of innuendo, gags, and camp-tastic revelry with this year's adult panto, 'Beauty on the Piste'. Beau is imprisoned with a fearsome Beast in an icy Alpine village: can love save the day? This new panto is the handiwork of Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, the creators of last year's hit 'Tinderella'.

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Above the Stag Theatre , South Lambeth Thursday November 24 2016 - Saturday January 14 2017

More family Christmas shows

Family Christmas shows in London

Make Christmas more magical with a trip to one of London's many family-friendly Christmas shows. There's theatre big and bright enough to keep little ones enthralled and performances sweet and subtle enough to entertain the whole family. Find the one that all of your lot will love and book tickets so you don't miss out.

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By: Time Out London Theatre


Claire D
Claire D

Don't forget Dick Whittington & His Cat at The Questors Theatre in Ealing!

jay dee
jay dee

a crystal clear overview of london & greater london's pantos this christmas. but then that's what Time Out does best. now all we have to do is figure out which one to go to! :)