The Nutcracker, can­dlelit car­ols and Dis­ney on Ice presents Frozen – find the Christ­mas show you’ll love.

Elsa and Anna from Dis­ney’s Frozen, a fairy god­mother and a pan­tomime cow are just some of the de­lights on stage dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son, says Sarah Riches

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‘Tis the sea­son to be jolly’ – which means it’s also the sea­son for car­ols, ice shows, pan­tomimes and fes­tive bal­lets.

Set to be a pop­u­lar show for young ones,

Dis­ney on Ice presents Frozen at The O2 (21-30 Dec; p. 53) sees Mickey and Min­nie Mouse guid­ing you through an en­chant­ing land of snow­men, trolls and rein­deers. On the way, you will meet fa­mil­iar faces, in­clud­ing Anna and her mag­i­cal sis­ter Elsa, along­side char­ac­ters from Toy Story, Find­ing Nemo and The Lion King. Dis­ney princesses will also be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance. Ex­pect magic, special ef­fects, sto­ry­telling and dance.

Cin­derella at the Lon­don Pal­la­dium (from 10 Dec; p. 48) sees Amanda Holden from TV’s Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent play the Fairy God­mother in this pan­tomime. An English tra­di­tion dat­ing from the 1500s, pan­tomimes, or ‘pan­tos’, are fam­ily-friendly mu­si­cals per­formed over Christ­mas that com­bine slap­stick com­edy and dance with fairy­tales, gen­der-cross­ing and au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. Holden says: ‘I can’t wait to spread my Fairy God­mother dust over the fes­tive sea­son and it’s an hon­our to have been asked. I’m ex­cited but noth­ing like my girls who can’t wait to watch their mama fly!’

Holden is joined by TV pre­sen­ter Paul ‘Wicked Step­mother’ O’Grady and co­me­dian Ju­lian Clary. Lee Mead ( Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color Dream­coat) plays Prince Charm­ing and Natasha Barnes – Sheri­dan Smith’s un­der­study in Fun­nyGirl – is Cin­derella.

Cin­derella is also show­ing at Chiswick House & Gar­dens (16-24 & 26-31 Dec; www.chgt.org.uk) – watch out for an il­lu­sion­ist, an ac­ro­batic lizard and danc­ing mice as an eight-piece orches­tra per­forms an orig­i­nal score. For a clas­sic Christ­mas show, don’t miss

The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House (to 12 Jan; p. 55) in­stead. With Lev Ivanov’s orig­i­nal chore­og­ra­phy – up­dated by Peter Wright – the clas­sic bal­let fol­lows Clara and the Nutcracker on a jour­ney to the King­dom of Sweets to Tchaikovsky’s score. High­lights in­clude a mag­i­cal grow­ing Christ­mas tree and a sleigh ride through snowflakes. The bal­let will also be screened live in cine­mas on 8 Dec. Not to be out­done, the Royal Al­bert Hall will host its an­nual Car­ols by Can­dle­light con­cert (17-18 & 23-24 Dec; p. 54). The Mozart Fes­ti­val Orches­tra – dressed in 18th-cen­tury cos­tume – will per­form clas­sics, in­clud­ing Silent Night and Joy to the World, by Bach, Han­del, Mozart and Corelli, while the ac­tor Bernard Crib­bins reads from Dick­ens and the Bible. You can also sing along to Good King W enc es la sand Hark! The Her­ald An­gels Sing with the Mozart Fes­ti­val Cho­rus. Can’t wait? Then start count­ing down the days with your ad­vent cal­en­dar...

Clock­wise from this pic­ture: TheNutcracker; Carols­byCan­dle­light; Dis­ney­onIce pre­sentsFrozen; TheNutcracker

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