Regional: Children’s Theatre to see Christmas 2018

The supermarkets have stocked up on mince pies, and soon every radio station will be playing Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic on a loop. So, here are some highlights from across the UK to whet your appetite for a theatre-filled festive season!

Huddle (Unicorn Theatre, London)

Filskit Theatre have a proven track record of making shows about fluffy animals living in snowy environments for ages 2-5 (see 2015’s Breaking The Ice) so we’re looking forward to their latest show at Unicorn Theatre. Huddle is a heart-warming tale about Mr Penguin, his newly hatched chick, and learning how to thrive in spite of the odds.

For ages 2-5, playing 13 Nov 2018 – 6 Jan 2019. Find more information & book tickets here

Finding Santa (Little Angel Theatre, London)

Last year’s Santa’s Little Workshop established Little Angel’s festive promenade productions as a Christmas must. This year’s immersive, interactive adventure explores how letters for Santa Claus get to the North Pole…

For ages 3-8, playing 16 Nov – 24 Dec 2018. Find more information & book tickets here

Hansel & Gretel: Fairytale Detectives (Theatr Clwyd, Mold)

Grab your magnifying glass and head to Grimm City in Hansel & Gretel: Fairytale Detectives, another promenade performance that invites audiences directly into the action. Humpty’s cracking, Rapunzel’s in a tangle, and Weasel went pop without a trace: it’s up to you to help Hansel and Gretel solve the nursery rhyme crimes.

For age 11 and under, playing 14 Dec 2018 – 6 Jan 2019. Find more information & book tickets here

A Ladder to the Stars (Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling)

When a little girl makes a birthday wish, the moon, the sun, the wind and the rain devise a plan to make it come true. Visible Fictions & Aberdeen Performing Arts’ production uses music, light and imagination to tell the story of what can happen when the universe hears your dreams.

For age 5 and under, playing 27 Nov – 24 Dec 2018. Find more information & book tickets here

White (HOME, Manchester)

Catherine Wheels’ acclaimed, long-running show is just as good as everyone says (don’t believe me, ask Sarah Jessica Parker – the Sex and the City actress called it “The best 40 minutes of my life”). This highly visual show about fearing difference and accepting change is not to be missed.

For ages 2-4, playing 13 – 23 Dec 2018. Find more information & book tickets here

Black Beauty (Z-Arts, Manchester & Platform, Glasgow)

There is an absolute children’s theatre dream team behind this show: Andy Manley (White, Mikey & Addie), Andy Cannon (Tales of a Grandson, Labyrinth) and Shona Reppe (White, The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean). No wonder it won the CATS Awards for Best Production for Children and Young People and Best Design! Saddle up for the classic tale of Black Beauty as you’ve never seen it before.

For ages 6+, playing 5 – 15 Dec 2018 at Z-Arts & 18 – 23 Dec 2018 at Platform. Find more information & book tickets for Z-Arts here and for Platform here 

Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas (Waterside Arts, Sale)

Waterside Arts is in for a bloomin’ brilliant treat this December: Pins & Needles’ magical, funny, inventive adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ book about a lovably grumpy old man on his busiest night of the year.

For ages 3-11, playing 4 – 31 Dec 2018. Find more information & book tickets here

Photo: Simon Annand

The Worst Witch (Royal & Derngate, Northampton)

Before there was Hermione Granger, there was Mildred Hubble. Like Hermione, Mildred is an ordinary girl who finds herself in an extraordinary place – a school for witches. But unlike Hermione, famous for being permanently top of the class, Hubble is accident-prone and lacks a natural aptitude for magic. As big fans of Jill Murphy’s series of books, we’re excited to see what award-winning playwright Emma Reeves conjures up!

For ages 7+, playing 27 Nov – 30 Dec 2018. Find more information & book tickets here

Idil Sukan

The Elves and the Shoemaker (Mac Belfast)

MAC Belfast and award-winning children’s theatre company Cahoots NI join forces this Christmas to put a magical twist on a classic tale: The Elves and the Shoemaker. It’s the story of a kind-hearted cobbler who gets a helping hand from a party of nocturnal pixies, featuring original music, live magic, and dazzling special effects.

For all ages, playing 27 Nov 2018 – 6 Jan 2019. Find more information & book tickets here

Luna (Theatre Hullabaloo, Darlington)

When we saw Luna, we described is as ‘children’s theatre at its very, very best’. Theatre Hullabaloo’s show about friendship, the moon and being brave in the dark will be a truly magical Christmas treat for under-5s.

For ages 2-5, playing 8 – 29 Dec 2018. Find more information & book tickets here

Photo: Kirsten McTernan

The Scarlet Pimpernel (the egg theatre, Bath)

Last year’s Christmas production at the egg theatre – Little Mermaid –  just won Best Show for Children and Young People in the UK Theatre Awards. As the same team are behind this year’s festive offering too, it’s definitely worth getting tickets. The Scarlet Pimpernel promises witty wordplay, brave women, not-so-brave men, hysterical double disguises, elaborate hoaxes, poodles aplenty and very, very high wigs.

For ages 6+ or younger if of a brave disposition, playing 6 Dec 2018 – 13 January 2019. Find more information & book tickets here 

Photo: Rah Petherbridge

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Derby Theatre, Derby)

We thoroughly enjoyed Hiccup Theatre’s show about three monkeys, so we’re sure this Christmas production about three bears will be a hit too. This is a brand new version of the classic fairytale, told with bear-sized helpings of original live music and puppetry.

For ages 3+, playing 4 Dec 2018 – 5 Jan 2019. Find more information & book tickets here

Children’s Theatre Reviews exists to help plug the gap in criticism and writing about theatre for young audiences. It is run entirely voluntarily, and needs support to continue covering and supporting the sector. For more information and to help give children’s theatre the voice it deserves, please visit our Patreon page. 


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