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 2018? 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

Snow White

icon-location-pin London Palladium, Soho
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Here’s a relatively big take: the Palladium panto isn’t really a panto. At least, not in the usual, modern sense of a family-friendly, fun-filled fairytale…

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Pantomimes in east London

Theatre, Panto

Aladdin

icon-location-pin Hackney Empire, Hackney
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After their absence from last year’s decidedly tepid ‘Cinderella’, Hackney Empire has got two of its best panto performers back for its twentieth festive extravaganza: the dame of dames, Clive Rowe, and ‘EastEnders’ star Tameka Empson…

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Theatre, Panto

Sleeping Beauty

icon-location-pin Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford
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We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty – the cursed princess who pricks her finger and sleeps for a hundred years. Matthew Xia’s panto version at Theatre Royal Stratford East has enough twists and turns to make it more of an ‘inspired by’ job…

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Theatre, Panto

Rapunzel

icon-location-pin Hoxton Hall, Hoxton
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Hoxton Hall is a lively, community-focused venue with a panto that's bound to delight local families. This year, Enfield's Millfield Arts Centre are rocking up at this atmospheric theatre with their own spin on 'Rapunzel', the story of the girl with the flowing locks and an evil witch to outwit. 

Pantomimes in west London

Dick Whittington, Lyric Hammersmith
© Tristram Kenton
Theatre, Panto

Dick Whittington

icon-location-pin Lyric Hammersmith, Hammersmith
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A fun(ish) game you can play in the darkening days of late November is ‘guess this year’s big panto song’…

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Peter Pan, Richmond Theatre, Robert Lindsay, 2018
© Craig Sugden
Theatre, Panto

Peter Pan

icon-location-pin Richmond Theatre, Richmond
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Brightly lit, compact, cosy and Christmassy inside, Richmond rarely fails to be one of London’s most welcoming theatres at this time of year…

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Pantomimes in south London

Theatre, Panto

Aladdin

icon-location-pin New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon
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If you like your pantos bold, brash, bright and with a big star attached, then New Wimbledon Theatre's annual offering's the one for you. 2018's 'Aladdin' has telly quiz show maestro Paul Merton getting dolled up in a wig as Widow Twankey - and doubtless bringing a bit of sardonic improv humour to the unlikely role of Aladdin's mum. Judging by previous years, there'll also be tons of pop songs, a chorus of kiddy stars, traditional panto audience participation, and jokes so rude you'll drop your ice cream. 

Theatre, Panto

Robinson Crusoe

icon-location-pin Greenwich Theatre, Greenwich
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Greenwich Theatre's popular annual panto is the handiwork of Andrew Pollard, who pens the script as well as playing the wise-cracking, dragged up Dame. This year, he's taken on 'Robinson Crusoe', a tale of a shipwrecked sailor that's one of the lesser-staged panto plots out there. This adventurous yarn will be packed with nautical gags a plenty, plus lashings of song, dance and glitter. 

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The cast of 'A Pair of Pantos'
Photography: Rosie Powell
Theatre, Panto

A Pair of Pantos

icon-location-pin Canada Water Culture Space, Rotherhithe
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Pantomime has a long history of fooling around with gender (think panto dames and principal boys) but its approach isn't generally all that subtle. 'A Pair of Pantos' brings 21st century queer positivity to a time-honoured genre, using a cast of trans and non-binary performers to tell two classic panto stories. Written and directed by Hester Chillingworth. 

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Theatre, Panto

Aladdin

icon-location-pin Catford Broadway, Catford
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After a three-year hiatus, panto is back at Catford Broadway. 'Aladdin' is produced by well-respected Deptford-based company Selladoor, who'll preside over a kid-friendly festive extravaganza. The tale of the boy with the magic lamp will be performed with live music, dancing, and suitably enchanting special effects. The cast includes Cbeebies star Joanna Adeyinka-Burford and comedian Wayne Rollins. 

Adult pantomimes

Theatre, Panto

Mother Goose Cracks One Out

icon-location-pin Above The Stag Theatre, South Lambeth
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Is this panto suitable for kids? Oh no it isn't! Is it loads of ribald fun? Oh yes it is! Vauxhall's gay theatre Above The Stag is back with the latest instalment in their much-loved series of adult pantos, penned by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hopper. Titled 'Mother Goose Cracks One Out', it's a filthy-minded take on the classic festive fairy story, staged with abundant saucy costumes, scantily clad men, pop songs, and very, very rude jokes.

Theatre, Panto

Rubbed!

icon-location-pin Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Vauxhall
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The Royal Vauxhall Tavern's annual queer panto is back with a sexed-up sequel to 'Aladdin'. It's years since the lad found the lamp, and now he's an international playboy while Genie's retired to South London. But when Genie's home is endangered by evil Abenazar, it's time for the dream team to reunite. 'Rubbed' is a definitely adults only take on pantomime tradition, packed with smutty jokes and silliness. With several hit RVT pantos under his belt, Tim McArthur directs this new story by Paul Joseph and Tim Benzie.

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Theatre, Panto

Jack Off the Beanstalk

icon-location-pin Studio 88, Leicester Square
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This saucy festive offering is an adult riff on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. It features gay YouTube star Dan Armstrong in the title role, alongside characters including 'Fairy Hanny' and 'Fleshlight'. Produced by new company Wiltax Productions.

Theatre, Panto

A Lad In Soho

icon-location-pin Sanctum Soho Hotel, Soho
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This innuendo-filled show is a fresh helping of festive fun from Simon Gross, the producer behind the long-running panto 'Snow White and the Seven Poofs'. 'A Lad in Soho' is an adults-only riff on the 'Aladdin' story, told using a party-starting soundtrack from Madonna to The Village People. Ages 18-plus.

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Theatre, Panto

Tinderella

icon-location-pin Canal Cafe Theatre, Westbourne Green
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Canal Cafe's saucy panto is a boy-meets-girl story with a 21st century twist. Its stars meet on Tindr, go to Nandos, all thanks to the good Fairy Matchmaker. It definitely isn't the first show to play on the 'Tinderella' pun but it should be a knockabout addition to the genre, full of songs and filthy jokes performed by a cast of four. 

'Bongo and the Beanstalk' is on at The Grand, Clapham
© McNulty
Theatre, Panto

Bongo and the Beanstalk

icon-location-pin The Grand, Clapham Junction
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This bingo/panto mash-up blends two British institutions in hilarious style. Matty Powers and the Bongo's Bingo team will preside over three nights of very silly 'Jack in the Beanstalk' inspired fun - settle in with a pint for a night of scorecard-dabbing and yelling 'He's behind you!'.

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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