The Best Christmas Shows


Somewhere over the rainbow... there's Dundee Repertory Theatre. So click your heels together three times and follow the yellow brick road there this Christmas, to watch Dorothy and Toto's adventures in the land of Oz (below). Theproduction is the first musical show staged at the theatre for many years, and has a large cast belting out favourites such as "We're Off to See the Wizard" and the scarecrow's lament "If I Only had a Brain". L Frank Baum's original Kansas Twister will also be visiting its whirlwind on the children's Polka Theatre in London this year, for a production directed by Polka Associate Director Roman Stefanski. Both are fantastic shows to take the Munchkins to this Christmas. Book early to guarantee your boxing-day box.

Dundee Rep (01382 223530) to 11 Jan, Polka Theatre (0181-543 4888) to 8 Feb


There's lashings of Roald Dahl to be found on the Christmas circuit this year, but this is certainly one of the biggest and best of the shows. Adapted by top children's dramatist David Ward it features spine-tingling events ad magical illusions as well as hoards of "the most dangerous creatures on earth", hell-bent on turning all the children of England into mice.

Vaudeville Theatre, London (0171-836 9987), to 18 Jan


The divine Darcey Bussell is Cinderella in the Royal Ballet's Christmas show. (0171-304 4000) to 4 Jan And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, you can always catch the Kirov performing one of a plethora of Nutcrackers at The London Coliseum (0171-632 8300) to 4 Jan. The company has the distinction of having originally premiered Tchaikovsky's work when it first opened in 1892.


Brain boggling sights at Cardiff's Sherman Theatre this Christmas, where guest director Michael Bogdanov is directing Roald Dahl's BFG, the story of Sophie and a load of giants with a taste for human beans (01222 230451)

to 11 Jan


Book now to listen to some ravishing Christmas music around the country next weekend. The Scottish Early Music Consort presents The Christmas Story, which dates from 1664 at Glasgow's City Hall on 14 December (0141-552 1816) while Christopher Robinson conducts The City of Birmingham Orchestra and the City Choir in Carols For All at Birmingham Symphony Hall on 15 December (0121-212 3333)



Edinburgh's Theatre Workshop has purloined stars from Scottish soap Take the High Road for Of Nettles and Roses, an adaptation of an ancient Yiddish folk tale (0131-226 5425) to 24 Dec. If that sounds too worthy, why not book up early for the Albany Theatre's New Year's Special (0181-692 4446) which promises Deviant Dancing Angels and glittering suprises.


The fact that Englebert Humperdinck has penned a family opera is rather a well-kept secret, but now the cat's out of the bag, you'd better book up for The Garden Opera Company's Christmas performance. Hump's Hansel and Gretel (above) is designed for children aged six and over, exploring the rich symbolism of witch-fattened orphans and gingerbread houses. Barbican, London (0171-638 8891) 27, 28, 29 Dec


Joanna Lumley and Danny DeVito are guest narrators for a special musical performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Royal Albert Hall. The Philharmonic will be playing a witty and imaginative score that includes some satisfyingly noisy percussion.

(0171-589 8212) 13 Dec


Adapted and directed by Tony Clark, this musical production of Carl Collodi's classic fairytale promises to be seriously wonderful. The show is being put together by the same team that got Raymond Briggs Snowman to tread the boards and staged this year's wonderful The Red Balloon at the National Theatre. Mark Vibrans has written an original score and the magical environs of the long-nosed one have been beautifully designed by Ruari Murchison. Birmingham Repertory Theatre (0121-236 4455) to 25 Jan


Stratford East's non-starry panto has no members of Gladiators or EastEnders, but does boast an Afro-Asian cast - something shamefully unusual in the world of panto. With black heroes and heroines, the production offers an alternative to the usual white Christmas. In the past, the theatre has discovered stars such as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer and Kate Hardie. Who knows, perhaps this year you'll witness fresh talent rather than a load of old soapy whitewash. Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London (0181-534 0310) to 25 Jan

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

    £13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

    £18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power