Explore London

Christmas in London: Five Favourite Pantomimes

It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas in London without a trip to the panto (‘Oh yes it would!’ ‘Oh no it wouldn’t!’ etc.). We’ve scoured the theatres and put together a list of our favourite pantomimes: these shows are guaranteed to bring you festive cheer all season long!

Goldilocks and The Three Bears

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (London Palladium)

No list of our favourite pantomimes would be complete without mentioning the Palladium extravaganza, which has become a staple of London’s Christmas calendar since it was revived back in 2016. As always, the Palladium has attracted some big names to the cast for Goldilocks and the Three Bears: returning for another year are stars Julian Clary, Paul O’Grady, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot.

Telling the familiar porridge-laden tale of Goldilocks and her quest to fill her rumbling tummy (to the chagrin of the three bears into whose house she stumbles), the Palladium pantomime is sure to be a glitzy, glamorous affair: expect amazing costumes, plenty of zingy one-liners, and some fantastic musical numbers.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears runs from 7th December 2019 – 12th January 2020.

Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington and His Cat (Hackney Empire)

Often dubbed the crème de la crème of London’s pantomimes – not least because of their acclaimed Grande Dame, the Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe – Hackney Empire are back for another triumphant year with a new production of Dick Whittington and His Cat. Clive Rowe returns for a 13th year to play Sarah the Cook, as well as Hamilton alum Tarinn Callender (Dick Whittington), and well-known actors Annette McLaughlin (Queen Rat), Kat B (Uncle Vincent the Cat) and Tony Whittle (Alderman Fitzwarren).

This production takes us from the shores of Jamaica to the mean streets of London, as we follow Dick Whittington’s quest to find fame and fortune along with his enchanted feline friend. A classic rags-to-riches story, the Hackney Empire production promises slapstick comedy, topical gags, toe-tapping songs, and plenty of villains to ‘boo’ and ‘hiss’!

Dick Whittington and His Cat runs from 23rd November 2019 – 5th January 2020.


Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith)

The Lyric’s annual pantomime has garnered a reputation for being both modern and edgy, and Cinderella should be no exception. This time the lauded creative team (headed up by director Tikuke Craig, a rising star who won the coveted Genesis Future Directors award in 2014, and returning writer Jude Christian) will tackle the classic tale of Cinderella.

The Lyric team are being a little coy about the details for this year’s show, but – if previous years are anything to go by – we can expect pop songs, gags galore, performances from members of the local community, and plenty of modern references. Will Cinderella get her glass slippers on and make it to the ball? Only time will tell…

Cinderella runs from 16th November 2019 – 5th January 2020.

Snow White

Snow White (Richmond Theatre)

For a touch of the traditional, head to Richmond Theatre this Christmas. This beautiful theatre’s pantomimes are known for being classic yet packed full of flair and fun – and 2019’s production of Snow White is expected to be bigger and better than ever.

Joining hilarious dame Jason Sutton and Britain’s Got Talent star Jon Clegg are powerhouse comedian, writer and director Jo Brand, who will be taking on the role of the Evil Queen. Promising a ‘magical mirror, seven friendly dwarfs, a beautiful princess, a handsome prince and plenty of audience participation’ as well as stunning scenery, song-and-dance numbers and an abundance of comedy, Snow White is certain to be a perfect festive outing.

Snow White runs from 7th December 2019 – 5th January 2020.

Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers

Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers (Battersea Arts Centre)

If you see only one pantomime this Christmas, try Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers: the latest show from Sleeping Trees offers something quite unlike anything you’ve seen before. An inventive twist on the traditional panto, this innovative, irreverent production brings together two classic stories – the fairytale of Goldilocks and the swashbuckling story of The Three Musketeers – together for an evening of explosive fun.

Known for their clever spins on traditional tales, Sleeping Trees guarantee a ‘madcap festive romp’ filled with original songs, audience participation, and lots of laughs. Fun for the whole family!

Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers runs from 30th November – 31st December 2019.