Halloween? It’s behind you! It’s time to start planning Christmas activities and when it comes to the festive season, Panto is a must – OH YES IT IS! (sorry)…
No matter what your age, we’ve got you sorted. Here’s a roundup of some key shows and events for some jolly holly fun…
Royal Court Theatre – Scouse Sleeping Beauty
Let’s start with something for the gown ups….
Just like the Royal Court’s last few festive shows, this is not for kids so treat yourselves to a babysitter and book in for a great night out.
Once upon a time there lay a land that was so beautiful that it was almost good enough to be a World Heritage Site. Over the last eighteen months times had been hard as folk were not allowed to leave their homes unless they had lots of money. But one day the King brought joy to all the people as he announced the arrival of his baby daughter Ora. All of the villagers rejoiced… Well, nearly all.
The wicked fairy Maleffluent had evil plans in place for the princess so she slapped a curse on Ora that can only be broken by true love’s kiss. After a bit of time travel, an 18-year kip for Maleffluent and some serious wooing will Ora escape the evil fairy’s clutches? How many times will the script make jokes about the council that might get the theatre shut down?
The full cast is now confirmed as: Emma Grace Arends, Emma Bispham, Jamie Clarke, Michael Fletcher, Lindzi Germain, Hayley Sheen, Andrew Schofield, Keddy Sutton and Liam Tobin. The show is directed by Stephen Fletcher.
Tickets – https://liverpoolsroyalcourt.com/
Epstein Theatre – Beauty and the Beast
Now back to traditional family-friendly pantomimes, and this couldn’t be more perfect. The first show in the recently re-acquired Epstein Theatre, Beauty and the Beast is a tale as old as time with lots of fun twists.
Television actor and West End performer Ben Richards will lead the cast as Gaston. He is best known for his roles in Hollyoaks, Footballers Wives, Holby City and The Bill.
He will be joined on stage by Lauren McCrory as Belle; Kelly Sweeney as Fairy Rose; Lewis Devine as French Frank; Jamie Greer as Potty Polly; James Lacey as Madame Botox; and Benjamin Keith as the Beast.
The show will be directed by Jane Joseph and produced by Regal Entertainments Ltd, who’s pantomimes annually receive rave reviews and sold out auditoriums.
Tickets – www.epsteintheatre.co.uk
Telephone bookings: 0844 888 9991. Group and school bookings are available by calling 0844 888 9991.
The Atkinson Southport – Cinderella
The Atkinson has pulled out all the stops recruiting scouse royalty Claire Sweeney as their Christmas fairy godmother.
The pantomime will be produced by LHK Productions, who have for over 15 years’ experience creating shows and musical productions worldwide. Producer Lee Kelly said: “We are really looking forward to returning to the fabulous Atkinson Theatre, following the overwhelming success of our Christmas pantomime last year. You can expect a fun and heart-warming show with a modern twist, full of dancing, singing and some enchanting surprises – the perfect Christmas family show.”
Tickets – www.theatkinson.co.uk
The Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto – Robin Hood
After two years away, Liverpool’s famous Rock ‘n’ Roll panto is back. The production of Robin Hood will finally make its way to the Everyman stage this Christmas, as regular writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton put their own marvellously mischievous spin on the classic tale of heroism, social justice… and tights.
Tickets – www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on
Otterspool Adventure – Jack and The beanstalk
After the success of last year, the team at Otterspool Adventure will once again be creating the ultimate winter wonderland this year, full of enchanting events, crafts & activities.
Managing Director Cheryl Cosgrove said “We were overwhelmed with the response to last year’s event and have lots of festive fun planned for 2021.” The show will see a guest appearance from Liverpool radio presenter Claire Simmo playing the ‘Veggie Fairy’.
In addition to the pantomime, tickets for the 2021 Christmas Experience include a visit to Santa’s grotto and toy workshop (to pick a gift of their choice), Storytime with Mrs Claus whilst decorating gingerbread, a Make-a-Bear workshop, an ice-skating rink and full use of the adventure playground.
Tickets – www.otterspooladventure.co.uk
Sleeping Beauty promises to be the biggest pantomime the venue has hosted, and producer Christopher Jones is excited with how well the show is selling already. “For our first pantomime in the city, we are over the moon with how well the show is selling – with some shows already sold out and others close we are sure that Sleeping Beauty is going to be a huge success.
“The intimate space of The Hope Street Theatre alongside our talented cast will make sure every person who attends is part of the magic. We are even putting on special relaxed and BSL signed performances to ensure we can bring the joy of pantomime to as many people as possible.”
Tickets – www.hopestreettheatre.com or via telephone on 0344 561 0622
The M&S Bank Arena – Cinderella
Shone Productions Ltd presents Liverpool’s Biggest Ever Pantomime. Cinderella in The Auditorium at M&S Bank Arena From 18 until 28 December 2021.
The show will star Radio City’s Leanne Campbell as The Fairy Godmother, Comedy Star Bippo as Buttons, X Factor’s David Heath as Prince Charming, Waterloo Road’s Shannon Flynn as Cinderella, CITVs Chris Edgerley as Dandini and David Drewitt & Danny Jay as the Ugly Sister’s.
Cinderella has always dreamed of leaving her dull life as a servant to meet a handsome Prince. After the announcement that Prince Charming is going to hold a royal ball, it seems she may get her wish after all, but with the Ugly Sisters around, who knows what will happen. Maybe with the help of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and a generous helping of fairy dust, and a glass slipper, perhaps Cinderella’s wish could come true and she will live happily ever after?
This magical pantomime features Great Songs, Dazzling Dance Routines, Stunning Scenery, Beautiful Costumes and Amazing Special Effects – It will be an unforgettable experience for children and adults alike.
So, make sure you get your ticket for the biggest ball this year!
Tickets available from mandsbankarena.co.uk
St Helens Theatre Royal – Goldilocks and The Three Bears
Leading panto producers Regal Entertainments have announced that Hollyoaks actor David Tag (Sylvester ‘Sylver’ McQueen) will be leading the cast at the ever-popular St Helens Theatre Royal.
The festive show promises to be just right with its mix of unbelievable circus tricks, madcap comedy capers, Regal’s high production values, and a smash-hit selection of chart hits to sing and dance along to.
Cast members have been training for six months ahead of the show to master a number of circus skills and stunts which will feature in the show, including aerial skills and hoops.
Tickets – www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
In person: Monday to Saturday / 10am to 5pm – Telephone bookings: Call 01744756000
Between 19th November to 3rd January 2022 Liverpool Ice Festival will transport the region into a frozen winter wonderland. Located at Pier Head, the festival will include a covered ice rink, to ensure the elements don’t hamper any Christmas spirits, as well as a fully stocked Alpine Bar and a 30 metre ice slide.
There will also be an array of rides for all the family, as well as a Bavarian Food Court.
Tickets – https://icefestivalliverpool.co.uk/
Silcock’s Witner Wonderland – Manchester
Okay so it’s not a panto – but it’s a good alternative for those looking for something a but different.
The UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme returns indoors at EventCity next to the Intu Trafford Centre this festive season.
Kingpin Events will transform the indoor 22,000sq m exhibition space into a magical winter wonderland, featuring more than 50 family rides and attractions all under one roof including dodgems, roller coasters, waltzers and too many children’s rides to mention. There is also an array of theatrical shows on the main stage including TV stars Daisy and Ollie, Ice Princess Show, Christmas Meltdown plus the spectacular Christmas Circus, all with daily performances. Not to mention being greeted by Elves and Fairies and the amazing surprises that are still to be announced!
If this wasn’t enough there are also games stalls and festive foods from German sausages to waffles and crepes, as well as an authentic German Bar for alcoholic drinks and refreshments.
Tickets – www.winterwonderlandmanchester.com
Bookings via telephone can be made by calling 0344 815 7131 for both individual and group bookings.
The Liverpool Empire – Dreamgirls
If panto and festive shows just aren’t what you fancy, The Liverpool Empire are here for you with Dreamgirls
Direct from the West End with an extraordinary story and the unforgettable, spine-tingling vocals that send audiences wild, this spectacular musical production features the classic songs And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, Listen, I Am Changing and One Night Only.
Meet The Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.