Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2023
Photo: Mark Senior

The best Christmas pantomimes in London

Pantomime season has finally returned to London – oh yes it has!

Andrzej Lukowski

Oh yes it is: London panto season returns for 2023, with familiar faces, familiar stories, and yet somehow holding on to a constant sense of anarchic family fun. There are plenty of punters who never set foot in a theatre throughout the rest of the year who make an exception for pantomimes, which are among the most joyful Christmas shows in London, especially if you're looking for a show to take the kids to. From the megascale London Palladium show with its filthy figurehead Julian Clary, to Clive Rowe’s brilliant panto purism at the Hackney Empire, London is a city that takes pantomime seriously. Even if the idea of seasonal frivolity fills you with dread, there’s a panto out there for you.

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The best Christmas theatre shows in London.

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