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Christmas pantomimes in London

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

Aladdin - Hackney Empire - 23rd November 2018

Director - Susie McKenna
Designer - Lotte Collett
Lighting Designer - David Howe

Widow Twanky - Clive Rowe
The Empress - Tameka Empson
Aladdin - Gemma Sutton
Princess Ling Mai - Julie Yammanee
Genie of the L
Robert Workman
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Where's the best place to catch a London pantomime for Christmas 2019? Is it behind you? Nope: it's in the panto list below. Check out the pantos coming to the capital this winter, from the old school music hall hijinks of the traditional pantos in east London, or glossy celebrity blowouts like the Palladium's starry bash.

RECOMMENDED: Find more Christmas shows in London 

Pantomimes in central London

Theatre, Panto

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

icon-location-pin London Palladium, Soho
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Even though the London Palladium’s Christmas pantos have only actually been running since 2016, the core team now seem pretty much inseparable: you get Julian Clarey being smutty, you get Paul Zerdin doing some ventriloquist malarkey, you get Nigel Havers doing an ironic Nigel Havers impression, and you get reaktive newcomer (he missed the 2016 show) Gary Wilmot on daming duty. This year they’re back with ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, a somewhat off-piste choice that's rarely adapted into panto format.  It’ll probably pull it off on sheer star power, though: Paul O’Grady (who previously did the 2016 panto) is back to star as The Evil Ringmaster (yeah, us neither) with Clarey as The Ringmaster, Paul Zerdin as Silly Billy, Nigel Havers as Daddy Bear and Gary Wilmot as Dame Betty Barnum, plus telly presenter Matt Baker as Joey the Clown. 

Pantomimes in east London

Theatre, Panto

Dick Whittington and his Cat

icon-location-pin Hackney Empire, Hackney
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Hackney Empire's panto is the typically the cream of the crop, with its gorgeous traditional sets, best-in-the-biz dame Clive Rowe, and East London spin on time-honoured gags. They haven't announced if Rowe's on board yet, but otherwise it seems to be business as usual for Susie McKenna, the panto's longtime writer and director. For 2019, it's 'Dick Whittington and His Cat', a rag-to-riches story with a magical moggy at its heart. 

Theatre, Panto

Dick Whittington

icon-location-pin Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford
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With original songs, an authentically East London feel and bargain basement prices, Theatre Royal Stratford East offers a panto experience to rival Hackney Empire's winning annual offering. This year, it's staging the story of a plucky lad, his cat, and their quest to make their fortune in London town. After penning the songs for several Stratford hit pantos in years gone by, Robert Hyman is back on board with a new collaborator, playwright David Watson. John Haidar directs.

Pantomimes in west London

Theatre, Panto

Cinderella

icon-location-pin Lyric Hammersmith, Hammersmith
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Arguably London's edgiest panto, Lyric Hammersmith has landed on the winning formula of getting rising writing and directing talents to put a subversive spin on their Christmas show. This year it's the turn of director Tinuke Craig and writer Jude Christian (returning after a stint on last year's show). Going on previous form, there's bound to be loads of pop songs, puns galore, a chorus of local young people, and a very 2019 approach to panto tradition.

Pantomimes in south London

Theatre, Panto

Sleeping Beauty

icon-location-pin Greenwich Theatre, Greenwich
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Greenwich Theatre's annual panto is the classic fairytale about the dozy princess and her fearsome apple-poisoning adversary. 'Sleeping Beauty' is the handiwork of Andrew Pollard, who's penned dozens of pantomimes for the venue, typically mixing appealingly glitzy sets, a pop soundtrack, and plenty of subversive touches. 

Theatre, Panto

Goldilocks and The Three Musketeers

icon-location-pin Battersea Arts Centre, Battersea
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Sleeping Trees pop up each Christmas with totally irreverent spins on panto tradition. This year they're mashing together the long-locked fairytale with a swashbuckling French adventure story to stage 'Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers' at Battersea Arts Centre. A small but hard-working cast of wise-cracking performers will romp through this mash-up story, with songs and audience participation a plenty. Ages four-plus. 

Pantomimes in north London

Theatre, Panto

The Nativity Panto – A Not-So Silent Night

icon-location-pin King's Head Theatre, Islington
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Boutique panto mongers Charles Court Opera are back at King's Head Theatre with one of their signature seasonal spectaculars. After last year's Egyptian-themed knees up, they're wandering into more typically festive territory with a comic (but apparently respectful) look at Jesus's origin story. Writer/director John Savournin and songwriter David Eaton will cook up a gleeful, pun-filled take on the man who put the 'Christ' in Christmas.  

Adult pantomimes

Theatre, Interactive

Aladdin and the Feast of Wonders

icon-location-pin The Vaults, Waterloo
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This dinner theatre show serves up a menu of tempting delights, plus a drag version of pantomime fave 'Aladdin'. Drag performer ShayShay has created a lip-synching, filthy-joke-filled spin on Aladdin's bid to win over Princess Jasmine. Attendees are invited to come in fancy dress (but not the culturally appropriative kind) for a night of glitzy, inclusive panto fun. 

Theatre, Interactive

Cinderella

icon-location-pin The Vaults, Waterloo
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This immersive show mixes panto fun with a proper Christmas night in the pub, complete with the chance to treat yourself to a freshly poured pint. Back for 2019 with a run at The Vaults, it's an anarchic, updated take on the story of 'Cinderella' that's told using songs by a live band. The story's written by Luke Barnes, who also penned hit gig theatre show 'All We Ever Wanted Was Everything', and it's produced by Not Too Tame. 

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Theatre, Panto

Cinderella

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Studios, Whitehall
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Ru Paul's Drag Race UK contestant Baga Chipz is the star attraction of this adult panto. 'Cinderella' will play the low-key Sunday slot at Trafalgar Studios in the run up to Christmas, but there's nothing unassuming about TuckShop's festive extravaganza. Writer and director Stuart Saint has penned a script that's packed with filthy puns, pop songs, and seasoned drag and kings queens.

Theatre, Panto

Jack And His Giant Big Stalk

icon-location-pin Sanctum Soho Hotel, Soho
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This adults-only panto is a riff on the time-honoured festive story 'Jack and the Giant Beanstalk'. After masterminding previous shows 'Snow White And The Seven Poofs' and 'A Lad In Soho', panto producer Simon Gross is back at Soho's Karma Sanctum with a night of knob jokes, classic pop songs, and dragged-up fun. 

More family Christmas shows

'The Snowman'
Alastair Muir
Theatre, Children's

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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