Seeing a pantomime is an enduring tradition in many families at Christmas time. Tickets are often bought in advance and before you know it, the time has come to get everyone to the theatre to see what Buttons, the Dame and everyone else has got in store.
If you have a rather large brood, plenty of extended family or go to the panto with a big group of friends, then hiring a coach could be a great option. There’ll be no need to worry about how many cars to take, what’s the fastest route or where to park; it’ll all be taken care of.
The Scouse Cinderella, The Royal Court Theatre
A scouse twist on a classic tale, The Scouse Cinderella follows the rebellious Cinders as she heads to the ball to get so drunk she loses a shoe. The show is packed with gags, live music, and a pumpkin that turns into a Delta. There will be minging sisters, a lairy fairy and probably some dwarves who’ve got lost. It is running from 23rd November 2018 to 19th January 2019. Tickets are £1400 and can be booked online.
Beauty and the Beast, Unity Theatre
Coming to the Unity Theatre this November, Beauty and the Beast will be highly theatrical and a bold retelling of the family classic. The performance will show that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and that everyone’s attitude can be beastly as times. Beauty and the Beast is aimed at children over 5 and their families. It runs from 30th November 2018 to 5th January 2019. Tickets can be booked online and ticket prices are from £9.50.
The Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto, Everyman Theatre
Notorious dame Francis Tucker and the master of mischief Adam Keast are set to bring audiences to their feet to dance, cheer and avoid a soaking this Christmas. A traditional pantomime with a chilly twist, The Snow Queen offers singing, dancing and plenty of entertainment to the chilling tale. Running from 24th November 2018 to 9th January 2019, tickets start at £15.00 and can be booked online.
Dear Santa, The Atkinson, Southport
From author of well-loved children’s book Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell beings Dear Santa to The Atkinson this Christmas. The pantomime will take the audience on a Christmas adventure as Santa is determined to deliver the most fantastic present to Sarah, but he doesn’t get it right straight away. With the help of his cheeky elf, Santa finally settles on the perfect present – with plenty of music, laughter and audience participation. This one runs from 12th December to the 18th December 2018. Tickets are £12.50 and can be bought online.
Cinderella, Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight
This magical rags to riches story of Cinderella promises dazzling costumes, sparkling scenery, popular songs and a laugh a minute. The cast is star-studded this year as X Factor’s Gary Barker plays Prince Charming, Hollyoaks’ Darren John-Langford as one of the ugly step sisters and comedian and impressionist Michael Bailey returns to play Buttons. It runs from 15th December 2018 to 31st December 2018. Tickets are £15.00 each and can be purchased online.
Cinderella, Manchester Opera House
Singer and theatre star Gareth Gates is joining Coronation Street ’s Connor McIntyre and Les Dennis in Manchester’s biggest pantomime this year. The Pop Idol runner-up will star as Prince Charming in Cinderella while Connor and Les will be the Ugly Sisters. It’s running from Saturday, 8th December to Saturday, 30th December 2018. Tickets, costing from £12, can be booked online.
Doctor Dolittle, The Lowry, Salford
Doctor Dolittle will star Mark Williams as the eccentric Doctor, while former Coronation Street stars Brian Capron (Richard Hillman) and Vicky Entwistle (Janice Battersby) will play Albert Blossom/Straight Arrow and Polynesia the parrot. The show is running from December 11 to January 5. Tickets, from £19.50, can be booked online.
Snow White, The Albert Halls, Bolton
The tale of Snow White is a pantomime classic and it’s coming to The Albert Halls in Bolton this Christmas. Michael Starke, star of Brookside and Benidorm, will be performing alongside former X Factor contestants David Heath and Sam Callahan. Singer Charlotte Dacia will take the lead role of Snow White and of course it wouldn’t be the same without those trusty dwarfs Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey. It’s on from December 1 to 30. Tickets, from £14, can be booked online.
Sleeping Beauty, The Plaza, Stockport
The Plaza always puts on a good show at Christmas and this year’s production promises to be one of the best yet. Comedian Ted Robbins and Emmerdale’s Claire King will both make a welcome return to the Plaza to star in Sleeping Beauty. The show promises ‘beautiful costumes, stunning sets and spectacular effects’ and is running from 30th November until 6th January 2019. Tickets cost from £13.75 and can be booked online.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Octagon Theatre
This year’s Octagon show is taking place at the University of Bolton Stadium where it promises to transform the Premier Suite into ‘the technicolour land of Oz’. Swapping her ruby slippers for red trainers and picking up new friends along the way, Dorothy travels to the Emerald City with Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the cowardly Lion, in search of the Great Oz – a wonderful wizard from Wigan. The production will run from December 4 to 31. Tickets cost from £16 and can be booked online.
Cinderella, Oldham Coliseum
There’s another production of Cinderella running this year, at Oldham Coliseum. It’s one of the longest running shows, opening on 10th November and finishing on the 12th January 2019. There’ll be music, songs and slapstick, plus ‘a sprinkling of fairy dust for the perfect Christmas celebration’. Tickets cost from £13.50 and can be booked online.
Sleeping Beauty, Gracie Fields Theatre, Rochdale
The popular tale is also being brought to the big stage at Gracie Fields Theatre this Christmas. The Chase’s ‘Vixen’ Jenny Ryan is starring as Carabosse, Graham Cole of The Bill fame as Merlin, and Hollyoaks’ Milo, Nathan Morris, as The Prince. Performances are running from 22nd December to 31st December 2018. Tickets, from £14, can be booked online.