London Christmas Pantos: Six of the Best
Photo Credit: Hackney Empire.
Aladdin, Hackney Empire
The Hackney Empire has long been a ‘go-to’ spot for London Christmas pantos: in fact, this year they’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary with a rollicking production of Aladdin. Featuring an all-star line-up including Olivier award-winning Clive Rowe as Widow Twankey and Olivier award-nominated Tameka Empson as the Empress of Ha-Ka-Ney, this glitzy take on the classic story mingles comedy, dance, audience participant and – of course – magic.
Critics have lavished praise on the production, calling it a ‘great show complete with guts, guffaws and greatness‘ (What’s on Stage).
Aladdin runs until 6th January. Tickets available from £10.
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, E8 1EJ
Photo Credit: Richmond Theatre.
Peter Pan, Richmond Theatre
From east to west, our next pantomime finds its home in Richmond – but the cast is no less worthy, including two-time Oliver award-winner Robert Lindsay in his pantomime debut as Captain Hook and impressionist Jon Clegg as his sidekick, Smee. The Richmond Theatre team are known for putting on traditional pantos that are full of family-friendly fun, and this year is no exception: with a host of dastardly villains to boo at, a band of cheeky Lost Boys to cheer on, stunning surroundings to admire, and Peter Pan himself – soaring through the air – to gaze at.
Peter Pan runs until 6th January. Tickets available from £12.
Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ
Photo Credit: Robert Day.
Robinson Crusoe, Greenwich Theatre
Helmed by one of the UK’s most revered panto practitioners, Andrew Pollard, _Robinson Crusoe _at the Greenwich Theatre is a must-see for any serious panto fan. Not only did Pollard write and direct this year’s show, but also he’s gracing the stage with another outlandish Dame performance, alongside fellow panto favourite Anthony Spargo as pirate Gingerbeard. The swashbuckling tale is complemented by exotic costumes and a toe-tapping soundtrack featuring rock ‘n’ roll and pop songs – with plenty of humour, of course! This slightly subversive take on panto is an action-packed treat for the whole family to enjoy.
Robinson Crusoe runs until 13th January. Tickets available from £29.
Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ES
Photo Credit: Lyric Hammersmith.
Dick Whittington, Lyric Hammersmith
Now in its tenth year, the Lyric Hammersmith’s pantomime has become known for giving a real flavour of London: prioritising West End and local talent over celebrity casting and using classic stories to draw parallels with real life in London. Dick Whittington is a brilliant example of all the zany action you’d expect from a pantomime – with top-notch musical numbers, eclectic characters and belly laughs – mixed in with resonant questions about rising rent prices, debt, and even etiquette on the London underground. A big-hearted, colourful pantomime that is sure to put a smile on the face of every audience member.
Dick Whittington runs until 6th January. Tickets available from £10.
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL
Photo Credit: London Palladium.
Snow White, London Palladium
There’s been a huge buzz about pantos at the historic London Palladium ever since they returned in 2016 after a 26-year hiatus (so much so that this marks the second occasion on which we’ve deemed the 2018 panto an unmissable London festive event!). At the Palladium, the sets are opulent, the costumes are lavish, and the cast are even glitzier: this year’s roster of stars includes Julian Clary, Dawn French, Nigel Havers, and Strictly Come Dancing professionals Vincent Simon and Flavia Cacace-Mistry.
With stand-up comedy, ventriloquism and professional ballroom skills listed on the CVs of the esteemed performers taking part, Snow White is a dazzling production full of big numbers, huge laughs, and outlandish characters.
Snow White runs until 13th January. Tickets available from £22.50.
London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, Soho, W1F 7LA
Photo Credit: Southbank Centre.
Rumpelstiltskin, Southbank Centre
Visitors to the Southbank Centre this Christmas can enjoy an imaginative re-telling of one of The Brother’s Grimm’s creepiest tales, as a new production of _Rumpelstiltskin _premieres at the central London venue. Innovative theatre companies Windmill Theatre Co and State Theatre Company South Australia are responsible for bringing the devious imp and his gold-spinning skills to life in 2018, promising a theatrical adventure full of spectacle, silliness, and magical characters. Legendary Australian cabaret star Paul Capsis plays the eponymous anti-hero in this clever, culturally-engaging production that will prove a perfect outing for older children and adults alike.
Rumpelstiltskin runs until 6th January. Tickets available from £20.
Southbank Centre, Belevedere Road, SE1 8XX