THEATRE / Oh yes it is, once more: In the second part of our guide to Christmas shows, we list pantomimes and events around the country

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The Independent Culture
For those whose Christmas wouldn't be the same without a star to gaze on, here are a few to get you in the mood. This year, Les (Dawson) is in Plymouth and Des (O'Connor) is in Woking. Barbara Windsor brightens up Brighton, Danny La Rue takes the road to Birmingham, Cannon and Ball hit Leeds, and Little and Large size up Nottingham. Ernie Wise, meanwhile, plays the king at Windsor. Will he send the sparks flying?


ABERDEEN Cinderella 11 Dec-9 Jan With Andy Gray and Dame Hilda Brackett. His Majesty's (0224 641122)

ABERYSTWYTH Peter Pan 15, 16, 17 Dec (0970 623232)

ALTRINCHAM Cinderella From 15 Dec Garrick Playhouse (061-928 1677)

BAGNOR Christmas Cat and the Pudding Pirates 11 Dec-9 Jan Watermill (0635 46044). 4-11 yrs

BATH Cinderella 17 Dec-end Jan With Rolf Harris and Sylvester McCoy. Theatre Royal (0225 448844)

BELFAST The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 3 Dec-9 Jan Lyric Theatre (0232 381081)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 19 Dec-6 Feb With Dana. Grand Opera House (0232 241919)

BIRMINGHAM Fantastic Mr Fox 16 Dec-16 Jan Old Rep (021-236 2392). 5-12 yrs

No 3 Pied Piper Street Natalya and her brother Peter follow their babysitter into a magic world. Midlands Arts Centre (021-440 3838). 5yrs and over

Scrooge To 16 Jan With Anthony Newley, Jon Pertwee, Stratford Johns. Plus special effects by Paul Daniels. Alexandra (021-643 1231)

Aladdin 23 Dec-14 Feb With Danny La Rue, Britt Ekland. Hippodrome (021-622 7486)

The Wizard of Oz 5 Dec-30 Jan Rep (021-236 4455)

BOLTON Aladdin Bolton With 1960s rock'n'roll music. Octagon (0204 20661). 3yrs and over.

BOURNEMOUTH Cinderella 10 Dec-17 Jan Pavilion (0202 552122)

BRADFORD Babes in the Wood 21 Dec-7 Feb With Russ Abbot. Alhambra (0274 752000) BRIGHTON Cinderella 16 Dec-16 Jan Barbara Windsor, Tommy Boyd and two Shetland ponies. Theatre Royal (0273 27488)

BRISTOL The Happy Prince 4-23 Dec Musical adaptation by Sue Casson of Oscar Wilde's fable. Queen Elizabeth Hall (0272 250551)

Jack and the Beanstalk 18 Dec-31 Jan With John Inman. Hippodrome (0272 299444)

Aladdin 3 Dec-30 Jan Old Vic (0272 250250)

The Chimes 16 Dec-23 Jan New adaptation of the Dickens story set on New Year's Eve. New Vic (0272 250250)

BURNLEY A Christmas Carol 8, 9 Dec Day-time show for children, performed by Black Box puppet company. Mechanics (0282 30055)

BURY ST EDMUNDS Humpty Dumpty 14 Dec-16 Jan Theatre Royal (0284 769505)

BUXTON Babes in the Wood 10 Dec-2 Jan Opera House (0298 72190)

CAMBRIDGE Cinderella 11 Dec-9 Jan With two Shetland ponies. Arts Theatre (0223 352000)

CARDIFF The Dark is Rising To 9 Jan Children's adventure story. Sherman (0222 230451)

Babes in the Wood 12 Dec-23 Jan With Roy Hudd, June Whitfield. New Theatre (0222 394844)

CHESTER The Ugly Duckling 5 Dec-16 Jan Gateway (0244 340392)

CHIPPING NORTON Mother Goose 10 Dec-16 Jan Theatre (0608 642350)

COVENTRY Mother Goose 8 Dec-23 Jan Belgrade (0203 553055)

CREWE Mother Goose 15 Dec-3 Jan Theatre (0270 257804)

DARTFORD Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12 Dec-16 Jan With Kate O'Mara. The Orchard (0322 343333)

DERBY Aladdin 5 Dec-16 Jan Playhouse (0332 363271)

DUNDEE Merlin the Magnificent To 9 Jan Russell Hunter in Stuart Paterson's delightful children's show Rep (0382 23530)

EASTBOURNE Cinderella 18 Dec-16 Jan Dora Bryan. Devonshire Park Theatre (0323 412000)

EDINBURGH Jack and the Beanstalk To 9 Jan Brunton (031-665 2240)

Dick Whittington 8 Dec-13 Feb Kings (031-229 1201)

Beauty and the Beast 11 Dec-2 Jan Family show by Stuart Paterson. Lyceum (031-229 9697)

The Skelpin' Wean To 24 Dec Adaptation by Louise Ironside of Sid Fleischman's book The Whipping Boy. Theatre Workshop (031-226 5425)

EPSOM Cinderella 12 Dec-9 Jan With Christopher Biggins. Playhouse (0372 742555)

FARNHAM The Hobbit 10 Dec-16 Jan Redgrave (0252 715301). 6yrs and over

GLASGOW Crying for the Moon 9-26 Dec Terry Neason with songs and poetry. Second Theatre, Citizens' (041-429 0022)

The Jungle Book To 16 Jan First Theatre, Citizens' (041-429 0022)

Aladdin To 29 Jan With Una McLean. King's (041- 227 5511)

Cinderella To 9 Jan New version set in Bearnsgavie. Written by and starring Forbes Masson. Tron (041-552 4267)

HIGH WYCOMBE 12 Dec-16 Jan With Wendy Craig. Wycombe Swan (0494 512000)

HULL Gargling with Jelly To 16 Jan Brian Patten's story about Jimmy and his single-handed victory over Doctor Sensible. Spring Street (0482 23638)

Aladdin 18 Dec-30 Jan With the Krankies. New (0482 226655)

INVERNESS Aladdin 4 Dec-9 Jan Eden Court (0463 221718)

LANCASTER Cinderella 3 Dec-9 Jan Dukes (0524 66645)

LEEDS The Sleeping Beauty 17 Dec-16 Jan City Varieties (0532 430808).

Babes in the Wood 8-20 Feb With Cannon and Ball. Grand (0532 459351)

Fiddler on the Roof To 23 Jan Joseph Stein's musical. Quarry, West Yorkshire Playhouse (0532 442111). 7yrs and over

Granny and the Gorilla 11 Dec-9 Jan Hairy fairy story by Stuart Paterson. Courtyard, West Yorkshire Playhouse (0532 442111)

LEICESTER West Side Story To 23 Jan Haymarket (0533 539797)

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast 2 Dec-9 Jan With David Dale as the wicked fairy. Haymarket (0533 539797). 5yrs and over

LIVERPOOL Dick Whittington 18 Dec-end Jan Empire (051-709 1555)

Wizard of Oz 12 Dec-30 Jan Everyman (051-709 4776)

Blood Brothers 18 Dec-16 Jan Playhouse (051-709 8363)

MANCHESTER Elidor 2 Dec-16 Jan Alan Garner's fantasy about three children who discover a magic world inside a ruined church. Contact (061- 274 4400). 7yrs and over

Peter Pan 4 Dec-23 Jan New adaptation of the children's show. Forum (061-236 7110)

A Christmas Carol To 16 Jan Library (061-236 7110)

The Moonstone 17 Dec-23 Jan Wilkie Collins' Victorian mystery. Royal Exchange (061-833 9833)

MANSFIELD Cinderella 14 Dec-16 Jan With Ruth Madoc, Nicholas Parsons. Civic (0623 663085)

MOLD A Christmas Carol 4 Dec-23 Jan Theatr Clwyd (0352 55114)

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE Why Do Bees Buzz 2 Dec-9 Jan Musical children's show. Gulbenkian (091-232 9974) For under 6yrs

Beauty and the Beast 10 Dec-9 Jan Family show. Playhouse (091-232 7079)

NORTHAMPTON Dick Whittington 14 Dec-23 Jan Theatre Royal (0604 32533).

NORWICH The Pied Piper To 30 Jan Puppet show. Puppet Theatre (0603 629921). Under 5s

The Snow Queen To 30 Jan The fairy tale told by rod puppets and with new music. Puppet Theatre (0603 629921). 5 yrs and over

NOTTINGHAM Dick Whittington 4 Dec-16 Jan Playhouse (0602 419419). 3yrs and over Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood 19 Dec-end Jan With Little and Large, Leslie Grantham. Theatre Royal (0602 482626)

OLDHAM Robin Hood 3 Dec-16 Jan Family show. Coliseum (061-624 2829)

OXFORD Aladdin 19 Dec-24 Jan With Michelle Collins. Apollo (0865 244544)

Fooling About 3 Dec-3 Jan Oxford Stage Company. Playhouse (0865 798600). See photo

PLYMOUTH Dick Whittington 18 Dec-6 Feb With Les Dawson. Theatre Royal (0752 267222)

RICKMANSWORTH Cinderella With Bobby Crush. Watersmeet (0923-771542)

SALISBURY Mother Goose 12 Dec-16 Jan Playhouse (0722 320333)

SCARBOROUGH My Very Own Story To 23 Dec, in rep Alan Ayckbourn's children's comedy about three storytellers Stephen Joseph (0723 370541)

Prince on a White Bike To 2 Jan, in rep New play by Charles Thomas set on Christmas night 1934. Stephen Joseph (0723 370541)

SHEFFIELD Peter Pan 10 Dec-16 Jan, in rep Crucible (0742 769922)

Aladdin 23 Dec-31 Jan Lyceum (0742 769922)

SOUTHAMPTON Arabian Nights 10 Dec-16 Jan Nuffield (0703 671771)

SWANSEA Robinson Crusoe 17 Dec-31 Jan With Rod Hull and Emu. Grand (0792 475715)

WINDSOR The Sleeping Beauty 18 Dec-23 Jan With Ernie Wise. Theatre Royal (0753 853888)

WOKING Cinderella 17 Dec-31 Jan With Des O'Connor. New Victoria Theatre (0483 761144)

WORTHING Dick Whittington and his Cat 11 Dec- 10 Jan With Hugh Lloyd and Wayne Jackman. Connaught Theatre (0903 235333)

WINCHESTER Dick Whittington 12 Dec-2 Jan Theatre Royal (0962 843434)

YORK Babes in the Wood 14 Dec-23 Jan Theatre Royal (0904 623568)


BIRMINGHAM Birmingham Royal Ballet's Nutcracker 1-19 Dec. Features magic tricks and a flying goose. 4yrs plus. Hippodrome (021-622 7486)

BLACKPOOL Northern Ballet Theatre: A Christmas Carol 15-27 Dec Lively Dickensian romp. 8yrs plus. Grand (0253 28372)

CHICHESTER Moscow City Ballet: The Nutcracker. 21 Dec-9 Jan. 6yrs plus. Festival Theatre (0243 781312)

HALIFAX Northern Ballet Theatre as Blackpool. 26-30 Jan. Civic Theatre (0422 351158)

LEEDS Adventures in Motion Pictures: Nutcracker 18, 21-22 Dec, 20, 26, 28 & 30 Jan. Set in a children's home. 12yrs plus. Grand (0532 459351)

LIVERPOOL Northern Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake 9-12 Dec. Empire (051-709 1555)

NORWICH English National Ballet: The Nutcracker. To 5 Dec. 4yrs plus. Theatre Royal (0603 628205)

NOTTINGHAM English National Ballet as Norwich 8-12 Dec. Royal Concert Hall (0602 482626)

SHEFFIELD Northern Ballet Theatre as Blackpool To 5 Dec. Lyceum (0742 769922).


ABERDEEN Christmas Classics 22 Dec BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. 7.30pm, Music Hall (0224 641122)

BATH Chantry Singers 12 Dec Carols and Christmas music. 8pm, The Pump Room (0225 466541)

BIRMINGHAM Ex Cathedra 12 Dec-2 Jan Series of concerts covering 500 years of Christmas music (box office: 021-236 2392) Christmas concerts at Symphony Hall 11, 13, 15, 21-23 Dec including London Concerto Orchestra and CBSO Programme details and booking (021-212 3333)

BOURNEMOUTH Family Carols 12 Dec Bournemouth Sinfonietta. 7.30pm, Winter Gardens (0202 670611)

BRISTOL West Country Christmas 3 Dec With Johnny Coppin 8pm St George's; Bristol Junior Choirs 11 Dec Sing carols 7pm; Bristol Bach Choir 18, 19 Dec8pm. All at St George's Brandon Hill (0272 230359)

CAMBRIDGE King's College Choir 24 Dec Festival of nine lessons and carols Get there by early morning to get in. 3pm, King's College Chapel (0223 350411)

CARDIFF BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra / Barry Wordsworth 3 Dec Includes Vaughan Williams' Christmas Cantata Hodie 7.30; The Snowman 8 Dec 1.05pm; The Mikado 28-30 Dec Yum- Yum and Nanki-poo in Titipu. Fully costumed, staged production. Details from St David's Hall (0222 371236 / 235900)

EDINBURGH Cappella Nova 19 Dec Carols by Candlelight 7.30pm; Christmas Concert 20 Dec with the Edinburgh Clarsach (Scottish Harp) Society 3pm; Family Carols 20 Dec with Jubilo and the Edinburgh Players. Details from the Queens Hall (031-668 2019)

GLASGOW Hospitals Carol Concert 11 Dec 7.30pm; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 18 Dec Christmas Classics 7.30pm; Jingle Bells and Carols for all 20, 21 Dec 7.30pm. All at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (041-227 5511)

Carol Concert 15 Dec with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama 7.30pm City Hall, Candleriggs (041-332 5057 / 227 5511)

MANCHESTER Cendrillon 3, 6, 9, 12 Dec at Massenet's Cinderella 7.15pm; The Manchester Chorale 16 Dec Choral and orchestral music for Christmas 7.30pm; Camerata 19 Dec Corelli Christmas Concerto plus works of Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann 7.30pm. Royal Northern College of Music (061-273 4504/5534); Handel Messiah 6 Dec with the Halle Orchestra and Choir 7pm; Christmas Music and Carols 7.30pm 19, 3pm & 7.30 20 Dec. All at Free Trade Hall (061-834 1712)

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE Christmas Music from St Mark's, Venice 5 Dec 7.30pm. All Saints' Church

OXFORD Christmas Festival 3-21 Dec. With Brandenburg Consort 3 Dec, 8pm. Christmas from Christchurch 4, 5 Dec, 8pm. The Snowman 11 Dec, 8pm. Magnificat Choir 14 Dec, 8pm. Carols with The King's Singers 17 Dec, 8pm. The Fairer Sax 8pm. 18, 2pm & 8pm 19 Dec, Christmas Oratorio 21 Dec, 8pm (info Music at Oxford: 0865 864056). Handel Messiah 4 Dec 8pm; Bach Magnificat 10 Dec, 8pm; Traditional Family Christmas Concert 7.30. Bookings 0865 791222

SNAPE Carol Concerts 17, 19 Dec and Nutcracker 20 Dec Snape Maltings (0728 452935 / 453543)

TUNBRIDGE WELLS The Snow Queen 3 Dec Premiere of Matthew King's music theatre piece. 8pm, Trinity Theatre & Arts Centre, Church Rd (0892 544699)

WELLS A Gift at Christmas 15-17 Dec Variations on the nativity theme by five schools. 7pm, Wells Cathedral (0749 674483)


ALLENDALE Baal Festival 31 Dec Market Square, Allendale, Northumberland. Details from Mr B Thompson, Heathcote, Hexham, Northumberland

BELTRING Christmas Countdown 20 Dec Carol service and Santa's grotto. Whitbread Hop Farm, Beltring, Paddock Wood, Kent (0622 872408)

BURNLEY Victorian Christmas Celebrations 12, 13 Dec 10am-5pm, Weavers Triangle Visitor Centre, 85 Manchester Rd, Burnley, Lancs

BEVERLEY Toy and Train Collectors Fair 13 Dec 10am Museum of Army Transport, Flemingate, Beverley, Humberside (0526 398198)

EARLSHEATON Christmas Steam-Up 5, 6 Dec Open weekend at the mill with engine in steam. From 11am, Skopos Design, Providence Mill, Syke Lane, Earlsheaton

DUNSTABLE Christmas World 5, 6, 12, 13, 19-24 Dec Santa and his reindeer; Christmas grotto. 10am-6pm, Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, Zoological Society of London, Dunstable, Bedfordshire

EASTBOURNE Boxing Day Open Air Dancing 26 Dec 11am-12.30pm, Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex

GLASGOW Haggs Castle Museum Christmas Activities 24 Dec-6 Jan (not 25 Dec, 1 Jan) Includes: storytelling; decorating workshops and puppet and rag doll making. Must book (available from 19 Dec). Haggs Castle, St Andrews Drive (041-427 2725).

LEEDS Santa Trains 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 Dec Steam train rides with Santa. 11am-4.30pm Middleton Railway, Moor Road Railway Station, Leeds

MILFORD Christmas at Shugborough Hall 10-12 Dec Victorian Christmas evenings including carol singing, a festive fair and seasonal music. Shugborough Hall, Milford, Stafford (0889 881388)

OVERTON Meet Father Christmas Underground 6, 13, 20 Dec 10am 5pm, Yorkshire Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, West Yorks

SHEPTON MALLET Crafts for Christmas Show 4-6 Dec The Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet (0428 682292)

WINCHESTER Christmas Activities at the Gurkha Museum 15 Dec-9 Jan Includes: quizzes for children and Nepalese gifts. Gurkha Museum, Peninsula Barracks, Romsey Rd, Winchester, Hampshire

YORK National Railway Museum Christmas Events 28-31 Dec 5-14 years, National Railway Museum, Leeman Rd (0904 621261)

(Photograph omitted)