There’s nothing more magical then the theatre at Christmas; here’s our selection of unmissable child friendly shows to see this season
It’s Christmas Eve in Edwardian London and Clara receives an enchanted Nutcracker doll which comes to life. Based on a concept by Toer van Schayk and Wayne Eagling and performed live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic, this is an unmissable Christmas ballet for all the family – with several showings specially for younger children and their parents.
London Coliseum, 14th December – 7th January; ballet.org.uk
Hackney Empire’s annual pantomimes are a Christmas institution and kids will be bewitched by this riotous retelling of the classic tale, which sees modern-day princess Tahlia – born in enchanted Hackneytopia, land of fairies, unicorns and dragons – placed under an evil spell by wicked fairy Carabosse, played by Olivier Award-winner Sharon D Clarke. Written and directed by Susie McKenna and with music by Steven Edis, expect oodles of high tempo musical routines, comedy and larger than life characters.
Hackney Empire, 26 November – 7 January; hackneyempire.co.uk
The First Hippo on the Moon
David Walliams’ hilarious book comes to the stage in this adaptation by acclaimed kids theatre company Les Petits. Expect an hour of laughter and manic antics as two hippos go head-to-head in a space-race like no other. Suitable for children of pre-school age and upwards – a beastly good Christmas treat.
Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne, 13 December – 7 January; royalhippodrome.com
One of London’s most beautiful and unique spaces plays host to what promises to be the panto of the year. Written by and starring the venerable Roy Hudd (and directed by Hudd’s wife, Debbie Flitcroft), the show promises magic, music and, of course, lots of laughs. Ready? All together now… ‘She’s behind you!’ Ages five and up.
Wilton’s Music Hall, 2 – 31 December; wiltons.org.uk
Big Fish Little Fish
Get your dance on while shopping for some last-minute Christmas gifts as family rave masterminds Big Fish Little Fish set up shop at Selfridges’ event space. For six afternoons in December, DJs including Plastician will play for parents and little ones alike. You might even spot Santa throwing some shapes…
Selfridges 15-17 & 21-23 December; bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk