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
‘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